Matthew 18:21-25

Mat 18:21 (KJB)
Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?

Then Peter comes to Jesus and in a sense trying to be noble about forgiveness asks Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother when he sins against him? Seven times? The normal teaching in Judaism is that a person would be allowed to receive forgiveness three times and that is why Peter thought he was being generous with seven.

Mat 18:22 (KJB)
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.

Then Jesus shocks Peter and tells him that he is not to forgive only seven times but seventy times seven. That number would come out to 490 which is not the lesson here. Jesus wants Peter to understand that the essence of Christianity is forgiveness. What if Jesus only forgave 490 of our sins? We would still have a million or more to pay for. When Jesus went to the cross, He took on Him literally trillions of sins of the believers. He removed every sin which means the believer does not have any sin attached to them which could hinder their entrance into Heaven. Jesus wants Peter and us to know that as Jesus forgave every sin of ours, we are to hold nothing against any brother or as a matter of fact, any unbeliever.

Mat 18:23 (KJB)
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

Then Jesus begins to tell another parable. Obviously, the servants whom the king is “auditing” are those in high places, probably members of his court which would have access to the treasury. These may have also been the governors of the individual sections of the entire province. This parable of the unforgiving servant deals with judgment.

Mat 18:24 (KJB)
And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.

The king then summons in the servants as he began to reckon or settle accounts. One such servant had owed him 10,000 talents. To show the immensity of this debt, let us look at it financially from a few ways:
    1 Talent equals 6,000 Denarii (1 Denarius was a days wage)
    1 Talent equals 16 years wages
    Ancient Israel used the weight of the Babylonian talent which was 67 pounds or 30.3 kg

By today’s prices, let us see what this man owed if it was silver or gold:
    Gold - $1663.9/oz. (12/27/12) = $13,377,756,000
    Silver - $30.20/oz. (12/27/12) = $242,808,000

If this man took only gold, then he would owe over 13 billion dollars and if he just took silver, he would owe over 242 million dollars. Both of these would be impossible sums to steal but Jesus is giving us the reality of the amount of sins we commit in our life and that we have no idea how many we commit.

Mat 18:25 (KJB)
But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.

The king then made a declaration that this man was to be sold along with his wife and children, plus all the material goods that he owned. This also teaches us that when one sins, it does affect others around them. No one can sin without affecting others is a solid biblical principle. Read Joshua 7. This man and his family was set to be sold and whatever price they would get, would go into the king‘s treasury. This verse also teaches a little about a works gospel. The man was to be sold along with his family and all his possessions but that would only add up to a very partial payment and he would still be held accountable for the rest, which means eternity in hell. One can use all their possessions and even give up their family for the cause of Christ, but if they remain unsaved, it is to no avail. Many have done this and they make a grave mistake doing it but they find out too late, after sentence is pronounced.

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