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In the Name of God بسم الله
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Dave follower of The Way

A story Jesus told - what do you think it means?

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This story is from the Injil Matthew's account chapter 18

What are your thoughts and comments - it would be great to get lots of different perspectives!!!

The parable of the unmerciful servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?’

22 Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[g]

23 ‘Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

26 ‘At this the servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.” 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.

28 ‘But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded.

29 ‘His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.”

30 ‘But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

32 ‘Then the master called the servant in. “You wicked servant,” he said, “I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

35 ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

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The principle behind this parable is a believers should be merciful with each other and not be a burden over each other in any situation not matter how deep it is, in other words be a good samaritan to each other. And also God will show His mercy on the Day of judgement to the ones who had committed sins that they didn’t repent for or took extra care of God’s rights over him or her. 

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الَّذِينَ يُنفِقُونَ فِي السَّرَّاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ وَالْكَاظِمِينَ الْغَيْظَ وَالْعَافِينَ عَنِ النَّاسِ ۗ وَاللَّهُ يُحِبُّ الْمُحْسِنِينَ

The believers are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.

Surat Ali Imran 3:134

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On 6/5/2020 at 4:32 PM, THREE1THREE said:

The principle behind this parable is a believers should be merciful with each other

Hey thanks for this.  Yes wouldn't it be great if we were all merciful, kind, and accepting of each other.  Wouldn't it be great if instead of anger and pride we lived in the humility that comes from knowing we have been forgiven by the almighty God.

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On 6/6/2020 at 8:14 AM, Abu Nur said:

The believers are those who spend in charity during ease and hardship and who restrain their anger and pardon the people, for Allah loves the doers of good.

Surat Ali Imran 3:134

Abu Nur - Yes giving charatably is so important.  I wonder too if we are among those who restrain our anger and are forgiving?

One of the things I like about this story is the king forgave the one who had no hope (I so often feel like that before God).  Because I have experienced the undeserving love of God (He loved me and forgave me before I was able to do good) I want to forgive others and share with them my joy.

May we rejoice in God's fogiveness and be generous in our forgiveness

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The presumption is, that if you are forgiven then you "have to automatically forgive" someone else -no matter what the evidence or circumstances are.

The king allowed the bankruptcy of someone he lent way too much gold too. 10,000 bags/talents or in modern commodity exchange, say 10,000 ounces. [Who has that kind of money? lf he was a business developer, then lending 16-17 million dollars now is covered by business insurance and re-insurance.]

That the successfully bankrupted man has money owed to him it is still owed to him. He is not under any obligation to forgive a small debt. But he didn't need to choke him.

Otherwise, it is a stupid story.

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5 minutes ago, hasanhh said:

The king allowed the bankruptcy of someone he lent way too much gold too. 10,000 bags/talents or in modern commodity exchange, say 10,000 ounces. [Who has that kind of money? lf he was a business developer, then lending 16-17 million dollars now is covered by business insurance and re-insurance.]

You’re taking the parable to deep, you don’t have to go that far. 

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On 6/8/2020 at 4:22 PM, THREE1THREE said:

You’re taking the parable too deep, you don’t have to go that far. 

.                                corrected ^

No l ain't takig it "too deep". What do you believe it means?

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On 6/10/2020 at 7:04 PM, hasanhh said:

No l ain't takig it "too deep". What do you believe it means?

hasanhh I think you've got a point.  The guy had gone too far into debt he had been very unwise and was bankrupt.  But the King wiped it clean. How do you think he felt after that?

Jesus told another similar story in Luke 7

40 Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.”  “Tell me, teacher,” he said.

41 “Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?”

43 Simon replied, “I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.”  “You have judged correctly,” Jesus said.

In these stories who do you think Jesus was impliying the King or the moneylender was?  How does that relate to you and me?

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On 6/5/2020 at 8:35 PM, Dave follower of The Way said:

In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

That means we are being tortured in this prison of space-time until we pay our debt ?

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7 hours ago, Dave follower of The Way said:

But the King wiped it clean. How do you think he felt after that?

Hpeful.

Why? The king's poor judgement led him to lend too much. People who observed any or all parts of the story will realize that the king did poorly in lending too much. So to minimize the reputational damage of his poor judgement, the king forgave the debt and thereby cut his losses.

With another money-lender story, you remind me of the Stoics -who said people tell these kinds of stories because they seek to evade their contracts.

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Mercy and forgiveness is the essence of the teachings of Prophet Isa((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). The Beatitudes has "Blessed are the Merciful for they will be shown mercy." Matthew 9:13 quotes Hosea 6:6 and Micah 6:6, that Mercy is needed rather than sacrifice, and thus Prophet Isa((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) fulfills and upholds the Law of Musa((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) and Abraham((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). The Qur'an confirms this in 57:27 of the essential message of Prophet Isa((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)) via our beloved Prophet Muhammad((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم)). The Authority of Allah(سُبْحَانَهُ وَ تَعَالَى)  and Allah's attributes of Compassion and Mercy are confirmed at the beginning of every surah of the Qur'an.

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On 6/15/2020 at 5:49 AM, Shahrukh K said:

That means we are being tortured in this prison of space-time until we pay our debt ?

This is an interesting thought! - was it rhetorical?  I don't see this world as a place of torture.  There are definatly challenges and difficulties but there are many places where we can find joy and beauty.  I think this space-time is, as you say, an opportuntiy to pay our debts or as both stories seem to imply for our debts to be forgiven and for us to walk in the freedom and lightness that comes from release.

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12 hours ago, Joshua Bin Medellin said:

The Qur'an confirms this in 57:27

26  Indeed We sent forth Noah and Abraham and established in their line Prophecy and the Book. Then some of them embraced the guidance and many of them are wicked.

27  In their wake, We sent a succession of Our Messengers, and raised Jesus, son of Mary, after all of them, and bestowed upon him the Gospel, and We set tenderness and mercy in the hearts of those that followed him. As for monasticism, it is they who invented it; We did not prescribe it for them. They themselves invented it in pursuit of Allah's good pleasure, and then they did not observe it as it ought to have been observed. So We gave their reward to those of them that believed. But many of them are wicked.

Thanks for these verses what a challenge to me as a follower of Jesus son of Mary to be tender and to have mercy.  I will hold this in my mind as I pray today.

These stories show that tenderness and mercy are at the heart of who God is and what he expects of his people.  As we recieve from him, lets give the same to others.

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