The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant Matthew 18:23-35


There was once a King who was going through all the people that owed him money. There was this one servant who owed him a great deal of money but didn’t have it. The servant went on his knees and begged the king for mercy and to give him more time. The king took pity on him and cancelled all his debts. When he left, the servant had found another fellow servant who owed him hundred silver coins. He choked him and said, “Pay back what you owe me!” The fellow servant fell down to his knees and begged him to give him more time so he could pay him back. But the man got angry and threw his fellow servant into prison until he could pay him back. The king heard about this and at once asked his servant whom he had mercy on to meet him in court. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ at saying this, he threw his servant into prison to be tortured. This is the same way our Father in heaven will treat us if we don’t forgive.

Relevance to people of Jesus’ time:

The relevance of this story to people of Jesus’ time is that it was to do with kings and servants. In Jesus’ times, they had kingdoms with rulers and kings. The king would also have many servants. Another relevance for the people of Jesus’ time was that they used bags of gold and silver, that is why the servants owed money in that form. Jesus also used money in his parable because it was something people could relate to in terms of value. Many people would borrow money from people if they didn’t have it at the time. They would have to pay back within the given time or have to suffer punishment according to what their master agreed to. The punishment would be jail or torture as said in the parable.

Relevance to the people of today:

The reason Jesus said this parable is so that we can learn to forgive. The master/king was like God the father, always forgiving and lenient. If we slip and make mistakes, we can always ask God for forgiveness and for another shot, just like the servant asked. The servant did something that God doesn’t want us to do. The servant didn’t forgive or show mercy to his fellow servant who owed him. We shouldn't do that, instead we should forgive all our brother, sisters, neighbours and friends just like our loving Father forgives us. Nowadays, we tend to not forgive others because we don't deem them worthy to be forgiven (they don'y deserve it). But, Jesus tells us that we should forgive them no matter how big a deal (in this case a large sum of money). The key message of this story is to show mercy and forgiveness to everyone, just like we would like them to show to us.

Catholic Social Agency:

The Sisters of Mercy is an organization that’s main mission is to share God’s love and mercy with everyone. Their first call is “keeping hope alive in our world today.” They are working with people all over the globe to insure this is done. Their role in our community is to spread and do the works of mercy. This relates to Jesus’ parable about the unforgiving servant because the master showed mercy and compassion to the servant. Just like our father in heaven shows mercy to us. The Sisters of Mercy are following God’s ways by doing so as well. The Sisters of Mercy are a good example to how we should be living our lives. They really put mercy into action in their communities just like God's word instructs us to do so.

Relates to me personally:

This parable relates to me personally because I need to learn to show mercy and be forgiving. When my brothers tend to do something wrong, out of human nature I would grow angry and hold a grudge at them. After learning about God's forgiveness, I will now think twice and forgive my brothers just like Jesus said. Jesus says in this parable that if we don't forgive or show mercy, God will do the same to us. I know that I can always go to God seeking forgiveness and mercy when I haven't done the right thing or if I've strayed from the path. But, if I expect God to forgive me, I should also be willing to forgive my peers, friends and family (even those who I don't particularly like). I believe this parable has taught me a lot on God's unfailing love and mercy, it has also taught me how to be a faithful servant in doing so.


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