Peter approached the Master with a serious question.
“Lord, how often should I forgive my brother when he acts against me? Up until he’s done it seven times?” asked the faithful disciple. It was clear that Peter thought seven times forgiving the same thing was very generous.
“Not until seven times,” answered Jesus kindly, “but seventy times seven.”
Jesus then gave the parable of the unforgiving servant to Peter. He said:
“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who had loaned his servants money. He looked at his records to see what they owed. One of his servants owed 10,000 talents, a sum so large that there was no hope that the servant would ever be able to repay the king in a lifetime.
According to the justice of the law, the king ordered the man, his wife, his children, and everything he owned to be sold. This money would go towards his debt.
The servant was filled with grief at his fate and begged the king for mercy.
The king was filled with compassion for the pitiful servant. He forgave the entire debt and showed mercy to the servant.
The servant went home. On his way, he met another servant who owed him 100 pence, about 100 days’ pay. The first servant was angry and treated the second servant roughly while demanding repayment.
The second servant pleaded, ‘Please, give me time and I will pay you everything back!’
But the first servant wouldn’t listen and threw the second servant in prison until he could repay the debt. The news of the first servant’s actions traveled to the king. The king had the first servant brought back.
‘I forgave you your debt when you asked,’ said the king. ‘Why didn’t you have compassion on your equal?’
The king then gave the servant to be imprisoned until he repaid the impossible debt.
God will do the same to each of you if you do not forgive each other for your mistakes.”