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19. THE UNMERCIFUL SERVANT (Matt.18:21-35)

BACKGROUND: In this parable, the king represents God, the servants represent us people, the debt represent our sins and the prison represents hell. One talent is equivalent of 17 years' wages (vs.24). 100 denarii are equivalent of 3 months' wages (vs.28).
  1. How many times do you think it is possible to forgive another person who hasn't stopped doing wrong against you (vs.21)?
    • How much money would 10 000 talents mean in our currency (verses 23-24)?
    • How is it possible that one single person has lost such a sum of money?
    • In your opinion, was the King's verdict fair or not (verse 25)? Give your reasons.
    • Why didn't the servant ask his King to forgive the debt (vs.26)?
    • How do you think this servant was going to earn 10000 talents for the repayment of his debt (vs.26)?
    • The servant does not strike one as being happy and thankful about the cancelled debt (verses 27-28). Why?
    • How long does one have to save in order to make the equivalent of three months' pay (vs.29)?
    • What should have happened to the first servant in order for him to be able to forgive the second one (vs.30)?
    • What do debt and sin have in common?
    • Imagine that you run into debt in front of God every time you sin: a lie 50 dollars, a dirty thought 100 dollars, hating a person 1000 dollars etc. How much do you think you are indebted to him at this moment?
    • How do we usually defend ourselves when we don't want to forgive the sins of our neighbor?
    • What is wrong with the faith of a person who says to God the words in verse 26?
    • Does the first servant refer to a Christian or a non-Christian? Give your reasons.
    • What is the difference between not wanting to forgive and not being able to do so?
    • How, according to this parable, do we get a forgiving heart (verses 32-33)?
    • Jesus prayed for those who nailed him to the cross. Why then was he punished as the unmerciful servant in this parable (verses 34-35)?

GLAD TIDINGS: Jesus changed places with us unmerciful servants. He paid our debt and the debt of all mankind to the last penny. The currency was neither gold nor silver but his own precious blood (1 Pet.1:18-19).

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