RAP SHEET 1/30/22
Sermon: Debt Lift
Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35
ICE BREAKER: One month in, what has been the highlight of 2022 for you?
This week Jesus used DEBT as his Metaphor to teach a Parable about Forgiveness.
Peter wanted to know how many times he was expected to forgive someone who wronged him. Jesus shocked everyone when he said we should forgive a person 70 times 7! What he was saying is there is no limit to how much we should forgive.
This went against the Jewish culture where it was customary to forgive only 3 times. To help them understand, Jesus told a parable about a servant who owed a ridiculous amount of money! The debt was equivalent to 200,000 years worth of wages. It goes without saying, the servant would never be able to pay this back.
In a surprise twist, the King forgives the entire debt and gives this man a new lease on life!
When have you found yourself in desperate need of forgiveness from someone?
What is a time that someone has offended you and sought your forgiveness?
This is the picture of what Jesus has done for us. He is the King and we are the servants who owe a SIN DEBT that we could never pay back! Instead of making us try and pay it back, Jesus transferred the debt of our sin back onto himself and forgave us for those sins.
This is why, when Jesus died, he cried out "TETELESTAI" (It is finished) which literally means, "The Debt is Paid." Jesus took on the weight of our debt and now offers forgiveness to everyone!
In the parable, directly after had the servant been forgiven, he went and found someone who owed him a few thousand dollars. He demanded the money and, even when the man begged for mercy, the servant had him thrown into debtors jail. The scene plays out exactly like the interaction between the first servant and King, except the outcome is the complete opposite!
Before we judge the wicked servant too quickly, it's worth pointing out that this parable is about us! We often find it difficult to forgive others and it is because we have lost sight of the fact that Jesus forgave us a debt exponentially bigger than what is owed to us!
Psychologically, this is rooted in the FUNDAMENTAL ATTRIBUTION ERROR. Put simply, this is our tendency to rationalize our own behavior and demonize others' behavior. When we have done wrong - OF COURSE someone should forgive us! When we have been wronged, we see their offense as massively worse than ours.
The parable concludes with the first servant being brought back before the king and punished for his actions. The lesson of the parable is that we are to:
FORGIVE, AS WE HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN
Choosing not to forgive, destroys our lives from the inside out. When we can not forgive, it is because we have lost proper perspective on our own desperate need to be forgiven!
Forgiveness is choosing to take on the weight of the debt that someone owes you. This is what Jesus did for us, and when we forgive we are showing the world the love of Christ in a very tangible way!
This week's application is simple to understand and very difficult to put into action.
Who is it that you have been unwilling to forgive?
Why is it that you will not forgive them?
What is your plan to Forgive, As You Have Been Forgiven?
Ask God to help you gain proper perspective on those who have wronged you. Spend some time thinking about the incredible truth that God has forgiven ALL of your sins and thank him for that!
**If someone has been abusive or is dangerous to you, do not put yourself in a position to be harmed. Work to forgive that person in your heart and your mind and pray that God would move in their lives. They no longer deserve to take up residence in your mind and heart, and forgiveness is a step towards truly releasing them.
Forgiveness does not mean putting yourself in a dangerous position.