Forgiveness is something which brings a healing balm to the soul. But it can also be the most difficult thing to do.
In Matthew 18, Jesus tells the story of a man who owed 10,000 talents to his master. That is no small sum. It is equivalent to $6,000,000,000 whic is an outrageous amount of money. The servant pleads with his master to forgive the debt and as crazy as it may sound, he does.
Obviously, Jesus is making a point, because He turns the focus from the master to the servant. The servant turns around and throws one of his co-workers in prison because he owed him an extremely small amount of money. No forgiveness. No mercy. All that was owed him was 100 pence, which is equal to 100 days wages. Converted into our currency, it would have been about $1,600.00.
The difference is beyond phenomenal.
Jesus tells this story in response to Peter's question regarding how many times we should forgive. (Matt.18:21-22)
The clincher in this story is what happens to the man who refused to forgive his fellow servant. Let's hear Jesus tell it:
“Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.” (Verses 32-34)
As if this isn't bad enough, Jesus continues with, “So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
This is serious business. What could He mean by delivering to the tormentors? Could it be He is saying He will allow the demons of hell to torment the person who does not forgive? As much as I really don't want to say it, but I do believe this is what He's saying.
Why would He place such a huge emphasis on forgiveness? Just like the lord in the story was extremely insulted and angry that he had been merciful in an extreme case and the recipient of his mercy would not give out a small amount to someone else, our Lord is extremely insulted and angry that He sacrificed His own Son for our forgiveness, but we refuse to be merciful to others.
Do you know someone who is bitter against another person? They almost seem tormented. In all reality, they probably are.
I don't want God to deliver me to the tormentors. I want peace and His blessing. I must forgive.