Remembering where you came from can profoundly influence where you go. This week, we are reminded of a story Jesus told that cuts through to the core of one another’s. September is the month we are signing up for Connection Groups, be sure to sign up on Sunday. When you give at Harmony, you are investing in life change and are Advancing the Kingdom! GIVE TODAY, text any amount to (859) 459-0316 to get started (or give online @ my.harmonychurch.cc/give .
Sermon Notes Slide Key:
- Sermons always start with “OPENING ILLUSTRATION:” and end with “CLOSING ILLUSTRATION:”
- All scriptures are NIV unless otherwise noted
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OPENING ILLUSTRATION: I recently got on google maps and was looking at my childhood home in Topeka Kansas. I was showing it to my kids and telling them stories about growing up. When I was like 2 it had snowed like crazy, I was so excited about it I ran in my diaper, threw the door open, and threw myself into the snow! Ha. I told them how I used to have this superman cape and when no one was watching I’d run on the sidewalk and jump and try to fly, I thought for sure if I just believed enough I’d take off…
But as I reminisced, I also remembered how my family didn’t have much. I used to think milk was gold – something only to be used for cooking because our family was so poor, you didn’t use it for something as frivolous as “drinking”. We used to get our clothes from the box in the basement of the church because a guy who was a manager at JC Penney would get clothes that had some minor defect and he’d bring them for people to get clothes out of that couldn’t afford them.
Remembering what you’ve gone through can shape what you go through if you’ll let it…
Jesus told a story of a guy who was quick to forget where he came from and what he went through and the consequences of that…
Mt.18:23-35 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 was brought to him.
I don’t know if you can even BEGIN to imagine how much money 10,000 bags of gold is worth – the NIV has actually interpreted it for us, in Greek – it’s 10,000 talents.
I found a guy who had done the math on how much this would be worth. 10,000 talents is 200,000 years of labor at minimum wage! It is 60,000,000 working days. In modern money, it is $3.48 billion.
This guy has made some bad business choices. there is NO way he will be able to pay this back…
You thought the $26,000 you still owe on your minivan is bad…Listen to the rest of the story…
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.’
This is a terrifying proposition. This master has been gracious and extended incredible amounts of money to this servant who can’t pay it back and now his only option is to sell the man and his entire family…
The man falls on his knees begging the master to be patient, he will pay back everything….
This is an impossible proposition. -it would take nearly 20 years just to pay back 1 talent at a working man’s wage…
You know what’s about to happen right? The master will grab this man by the throat and tell him in no uncertain words that his life is now HIS!…
Listen…27 The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt, and let him go.
Well, that didn’t go the way I thought it would? That’s the kind of thing that requires a party, to be forgiven such an unimaginable debt, to have your life back your wife back your family back!
28 “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.
The greek here is a hundred denarii 1 Denarii = 1 Days labor ($72.50 – 10hrs @ $7.25/hr in USA)100 Denarri = $725
I want you to notice, this guy didn’t just happen upon the other servant who owed him money, he went out and found him..
Look what he did when he found him: 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.
He grabbed him and choked him. “pay me back!”This servant is terrified, he falls to his knees and begs… “be patient with me and I will pay it back…”
the same thing the first servant had said to his master…
But this time, the request is refused, he was put in prison until he could pay the debt…
What do you do with someone like that? I mean really, someone who can’t remember where they came from? What do you do with someone who walks forward into life pretending like they stand where they stand because they got there all on their own?
The arrogance of it all…
Listen to the rest of the story: 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 canceled 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.
This is where we all start cheering! We love it when a villain gets what’s coming to them, right?
But listen to how Jesus turns this story on us… 35 “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Jesus’ point is not for you to stand in judgment of this guy, but to realize you might just be the guy…
Did you hear that?
This whole parable comes on the heels of Peter asking how many times he should forgive someone who sins against him, which comes on the tail of Jesus saying, “look, if someone sins against you, you should go to them and try to help correct them…”
This all comes in the context of us doing life together and being offended, walked on, passed over, and taken advantage of.
And Jesus’ answer is, you forgive 70×7.
Paul encourages something similar to Christians by saying this Eph. 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Paul plays the “I’m in prison for Jesus card” and tells the Ephesians to live a life worthy of the calling-Be completely humble and gentle – patient
Bearing with one another in love
Paul and Jesus both are asking us to recall our past so we can redeem our futures.
To remember how much we’ve been forgiven so we can bear with others.
Quick Caveat: This doesn’t mean you have to put up with bad behavior or sinful behavior.
Bearing with one another doesn’t mean ignoring sinful behavior. The servant that was choking the other servant had someone in front of him that was genuinely wanting to make it right, it wasn’t someone who gave him the finger and walked away saying, “good luck getting your money!”
The scripture is clear that if someone is caught in a sin, we should try and restore them gently:
Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Matthew 18, Jesus outlines an entire process for how to do this
The point of bearing with one another is that we let the unity of the body of Christ be more important than us getting what is due to us or having things our way.
Literally, this is how Jesus said people would know we are His followers. Before He died He prayed: John 17 that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Christians should be known for our love, but instead, most of the time we are known for being critical and mean-spirited. We should be known for the grace we extend, but instead, we are known for the judgment we put out.
Who in here needs to find someone and forgive them, to lose your grip around their throat and put your arm around them?
This is one of the reasons we want to start Connection Groups here because we think the relationships we have with each other matter. We need each other
CLOSING ILLUSTRATION: As a pastor, people can easily see you as a figure instead of a person. And, as you all are WAY aware of, I’m not perfect. In my first church I had this lady who I somehow made pretty upset, I mean, she came after me, tried to get me fired. I found her husband one Sunday almost in a fistfight with the guy who worked under me. It was crazy. When I would hear her voice down the hall, I’d turn and go the other way.
Then one day, her ministry needed someone to do something that was kind of a big ask. I was in this position where I could have grabbed her by the throat kind of thing and trounced her. I’m telling you, everything in my flesh wanted to throw her under the bus. But that’s not the love I was shown. I remembered where I had come from… I had done so much worse to the master. I owed a mountain of debt to Him and he forgave it all. So, I humbled myself and asked her to come into my office and I offered to serve her and figure out how to fix the problem.
I could see when she walked in that she thought I was going to wollup her…
Jesus’ call to bear with one another, to love past what’s comfortable still applies today.
Who do you need to show the love of God to? Who do you need to forgive? What attitude do you need to submit to the love of God?
And can I just say to those of you who are still carrying around the burden of the sin in your life that is weighing you down? The master still forgives. He can wipe clean your slate and set you straight! His grace is unending and unbelievable. come to Him today!