His lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not everyone his brother their trespasses– Matthew 18:34-35
When someone asked Jesus what the great commandment is, He replied that we must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind. He commanded love!
Here Jesus commands forgiveness — and, again, it must be a genuine forgiveness from your hearts.
It is difficult for us to live by the reality of an all-knowing God. We assume that if no one else sees that lustful glance, or hears that private thought, then we have gotten away with our stealthy sin. But God searches the heart!
For this reason, he demands heart-deep obedience, even in relation to forgiveness. We might feel as though we have done our duty—and maybe a little more—to let an offense or injury go without confrontation or angry words. But Jesus is not satisfied until we have actually forgiven that person in our heart.
How could Jesus demand so much from us? The context explains it all. Jesus relates the parable of a man who is forgiven an enormous debt to a king, and yet refuses to relinquish another person from a very small debt. The king therefore is angry and requires the enormous debt to be paid in full.
This is a clear picture of salvation. If we have been forgiven so much sin, freely by God’s grace, how could we ever demand justice for some small offense against our own person?
Do you have some small debts you need to forgive, in light of God’s free and amazing grace to you?