This Week's Bulletin

This week's bulletin

march 3, 2024

Welcome to Gateway! It’s such a blessing to worship with you today. If you’re new to Gateway, we want to extend a special welcome to you. Please visit to get more connected.

"Forgiving When You Really Don't Want To" (Matthew 18:21-35)

How can I forgive when I still feel so hurt? Is forgiving saying what was done is OK? What if I just don't know how to forgive? We'll wrestle with these questions and more in today's message.

C. S. Lewis said, "Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea until they have something to forgive."

Forgiveness is hard work, but it's well worth the effort.

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

In passage just before this, Jesus instructs us to go privately to anyone who has sinned against us and discuss what happened. When you've been hurt by someone, talk to that person, not about that person.

Have you ever been hesitant to forgive because you didn't want to continue to be hurt or taken advantage of?

Forgiving isn't saying what was done is OK and it isn't removing consequences for wrong behavior. We must forgive, but that doesn't mean the relationship will be fully restored.

Jesus is teaching that there are no limits to how many times we must forgive the same person!

Matthew 18:23-35

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

A denarius was the amount of a day's wage for poor laborers. A talent equaled 6,000 denarii. That means the servant in this story owed 60,000,000 denarii, or 60,000,000 days of wages!

It was a debt far too great to repay, and that's the point. The servant had to rely on the king's mercy. He begged for time to repay the debt, but that was an absurd idea because the debt was so large. His only hope was for the king to cancel the debt. That's our only hope as well!

We would expect the servant to be filled with gratitude. Instead, he found another servant and demanded that he repay his debt, which was SO much smaller than the debt the king forgave him.

How do we forgive others when we've been hurt deeply? Focus on the size of our debt God forgave.

The debt of 100 denarii was significant, but it was nothing compared to the size of the debt that had been forgiven.

People will do things that hurt us deeply. Our response isn't to act as if what they did doesn't matter; our response is to gain perspective by comparing the size of the debt they owe us to the size of the debt God forgave. That's when we gain needed perspective that allows us to move toward forgiveness.

2 Reminders:

1) Others often see unforgiveness in us before we see it in ourselves. Ask people who know you well to reveal any unforgiveness or bitterness they see in you.

2) We can't be right with God if we are unwilling to forgive others.

A Prayer to Trust in Jesus

If you've never placed your faith in Jesus, pray this prayer to God:

“Jesus, I’m ready to give myself fully to You. I confess that I’m sinful. I believe You died on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins. I believe You rose from the dead and ascended back to heaven. Right now I turn away from my sins and place my full trust in You. I’m yours completely. Thank you for saving me.”