v 33. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?
This particular story which Jesus told arose from a practical question by Peter in v 21: ‘ “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” ‘ (Stories told like this stick better than just having a straight answer.) Now you know the story of course – the King’s wicked servant is let off a huge debt but refuses to let off a fellow servant who only owes a little – he was on the receiving end of mercy but declined to act mercifully himself. The point of the story, and the outcome is pretty clear.
It is the application of the story to our everyday life that might prove more telling!
We, as everyday ordinary sinners, often get things wrong. My life can never match up entirely with the purity and holiness of God’s standards. But God’s nature is to show mercy; I am offered free and undeserved forgiveness on the grounds of Christ’s offering of Himself on the Cross. The demands of God’s perfect justice has been met, and God’s restorative mercy flows out to me. SO NOW He asks me to act mercifully towards others in forgiving them. And it is to be more than grudging forgiveness, it is to be restorative forgiveness that rebuilds my relationship with those who have offended me in some way. It is more than ‘letting them off the hook’ because it also restores the broken relationship as I welcome the person back as a friend. That may not be easy, but it is right!