The parable of the unforgiving servant (today’s Gospel – Matthew 18:21-35) shows us just how much we need Christ. How often have you revelled in God’s forgiveness only to judge sharply, plot out a little revenge or continue not to extend the hand of grace to a brother or sister in Christ who has really got under your skin? Jesus obviously saw how hard this is such that he raises the issue yet another time (see also Matthew 6:12,14; Matthew 18:15-20). It’s not unrelated to the issue that Paul was dealing with in Rome where Christian brothers and sisters were judging each other over what they ate and when they worshiped (today’s Epistle – Romans 14:1-12). Or even how many years ago on the seas of the Red Sea the just-liberated Israelites moaned and groaned, failing to trust the Lord’s own mercy and forgiveness (Exodus 14:10-12). As ever, it’s another gracious opportunity to hear God’s call to repentance, receive forgiveness and live in His newness of life by enabling His forgiveness to flow through us.
September 14, 2017 Pastor Matt Bishop