What Jesus Did! 'The Necessity of Forgiveness' — Matthew 18:34-35

Friday, September 1, 2017

"The master was very angry, so he put the servant in prison to be punished. And the servant had to stay in prison until he could pay everything he owed. This king did the same as my heavenly Father will do to you. You must truly forgive your brother or sister, or my heavenly Father will not forgive you."
— Matthew 18:34-35 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 18:34-35 NLT — "The master was very angry, so he put the servant in prison to be punished."

Key Thought

God is gracious and merciful until he finds those to whom he has freely dispensed mercy and they withhold it from others. The key principle of mercy and grace is this: it must be shared when it is received or it is never appreciated. God is very angry with an unforgiving, unmerciful, and uncharitable heart. So let's be gracious and tender and kind. Let's do it without regard to social rank or racial heritage or ethnic origin. Let's do it simply because God's first done it to us!

Today's Prayer

Holy God, help me to be more merciful with those who stumble and more harsh with those who refuse to forgive. Please give me a sense of balance so that I may know, celebrate, and proclaim your mercy in its radical glory. In Jesus' name I pray, amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matt. 6:12-15
  • Eph. 4:32
  • Matt. 25:41-46


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.