Here’s a challenge tossed out by missional Jesus and it is a challenged that shakes human relations to the core, opens up the potential for a society constituted on the basis of grace, and presents the follower of Jesus with a challenge that does not come naturally. Missional Jesus summons his followers to forgive others.
The following parable contains at least the followng points:
1. Missional Jesus teaches that asking about forgiveness in numerical, quantitative terms is asking the wrong question.
2. Missional Jesus expects his followers to recognize the enormity of their own debt before God, that God has wiped the slate clean, and that they are to live a life out of that gracious act by God.
3. Missional Jesus teaches — read the last verse — God will forgive us at the End in light of how we have forgiven others.
4. How then shall we live?
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy?seven times.
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents [fn7] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
26 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29 “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”