Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven….
“The kingdom of heaven [is] likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
“But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not.” …
This parable is designed to show the spirit of tenderness and compassion which we should manifest for others. The pardon of this king represents a pardon that is supernatural—a divine forgiveness of all sin. Christ is represented by the king who, moved with compassion, forgave the debt of his servant….
When the debtor pleaded for delay with the promise, “Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all,” the sentence was revoked; the whole debt was canceled, and he was soon given an opportunity to pattern after the master who had forgiven him…. But he who had been so mercifully treated dealt with his fellow laborer in an altogether different manner….
The lesson to be learned is that we must have the spirit of true forgiveness, even as Christ forgives sinners, who can in no case pay their enormous debt. We are to bear in mind that Christ has paid an infinite price for erring human beings, and we are to treat them as Christ’s purchased possession.—The Review and Herald, January 3, 1899.