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Sermon: The Unforgiving Servant and the Echoes of Unforgiveness.

Good morning, you beloved. Today, we find ourselves at the heart of one of Jesus' most compelling parables—The Unforgiving Servant. It's a story that unfolds in the book of Matthew, chapter 18, verses 21-35. This parable, given to us by Christ, serves not just as a narrative but as a mirror into our own lives, reflecting the profound consequences of harboring unforgiveness.


In this parable, a king decides to settle accounts with his servants. He calls forth a servant who owes him a staggering amount that is impossible to repay. When faced with the reality of his situation, the servant begs for mercy. Moved by compassion, the king forgives his debt entirely—a picture of unthinkable grace.

However, the story turns when this forgiven servant encounters a fellow servant who owes him a fraction of what he owed to the king. Instead of extending the same forgiveness shown to him, he chooses imprisonment for his debtor over mercy. When the king learns of this, he rebukes the unforgiving servant and rescinds his forgiveness, delivering him to the torturers until he should pay all his debt.

This parable ends with a sobering warning from Jesus to His disciples, emphasizing God's expectation of unlimited forgiveness among His children, mirroring the boundless mercy He shows us.

The Weight of Unforgiveness

The crux of this parable lies in the act of forgiveness and the catastrophic weight of unforgiveness. It serves as a vivid tableau of the spiritual principle laid out across Scripture—that forgiveness is not optional but foundational in the Kingdom of God.

Unforgiveness is a prison of our own making. It binds us, isolating us from the freedom that comes with mercy. This parable teaches us that the consequence of an unforgiving heart is not a mere emotional burden; it is separation from God's mercy.

The Ripple Effects of Unforgiveness

Unforgiveness, dear friends, has far-reaching consequences. It can sever relationships, hinder spiritual growth, and even affect physical health. More alarmingly, unforgiveness can obstruct our fellowship with God.

In Matthew 6:15, Jesus starkly warns, "But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins."

To harbor unforgiveness is to forget the profound grace God has shown us through Jesus Christ. Like the servant, each of us owed a debt we could never repay. Yet, through Christ's sacrifice on the Cross, we have been forgiven an insurmountable debt.

Living in the Freedom of Forgiveness

The message resounding through the parable of The Unforgiving Servant is not one of condemnation but of invitation—an invitation to live in the freedom that comes from practicing forgiveness. By extending forgiveness, we release others from our judgment and ourselves from a prison of bitterness and pain.

Forgiving does not mean forgetting the wrong done to us, nor does it always reconcile a damaged relationship. But forgiveness breaks the resentment cycle and opens the door to healing.


How, then, do we apply this to our lives? It begins with prayer—a prayer for a heart that mirrors Jesus and chooses mercy over judgment. It continues with action—choosing to forgive those who have wronged us, just as God forgave us in Christ.

Forgiveness is perhaps one of the most challenging commands we are given, but it is not beyond our reach. Through the power of the Holy Spirit working within us, we can extend forgiveness and walk in freedom and peace.


In the echoes of our lives, may the story of The Unforgiving Servant remind us of the high cost of unforgiveness. May it draw us closer to the heart of our heavenly Father, who freely offers us His all-encompassing forgiveness and mercy.

Beloved, as we step out today, let us commit to being agents of forgiveness in a world that desperately needs to see the love of Jesus in action.


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