TRINITY – WEEK 22 – MONDAY
LESSON: MATTHEW 18:18‒22
“Out of pity for him, the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.” Matthew 18:27
“Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me; and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’” Matthew 18:32‒33
In the Gospel, there is nothing but sheer forgiveness. The lord of the servant forgave him his whole debt, and the lord expected that servant to forgive his fellow servant and release him from his debt. This is how God wants matters to stand in His kingdom. No one should ever be so displeased with his neighbor or angry with him that he cannot forgive his neighbor.
As Christ points out in the context immediately preceding, even if your neighbor incurs your anger not just seven times “but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22), that is, as often as it would be possible to do so, you should drop your rights and freely remit him everything. Why? Because Christ has also done this for you.
He has initiated and set up a kingdom in which there is nothing but pure grace, a kingdom which will never end, in which everything will be forgiven you as often as you have sinned. He has sent out His Gospel which proclaims not punishment but pure grace alone. As long as this regime stands, you can always rise again, no matter how deeply and how often you have fallen away from it.
One thing Christ expects of you, that you forgive your neighbor the sins he has committed against you. Otherwise you cannot hold your place in His kingdom of grace or enjoy the good news that your sins are forgiven you. This, in brief, is the gist and meaning of this Gospel.
PRAYER: We thank You from the bottom of our hearts, O God, for the full and often repeated forgiveness of our sins which we enjoy in Your kingdom of grace. May we always be found ready, in the enjoyment of Your forgiveness, to forgive our neighbor his sins, through Jesus Christ our Savior.