Unforgiving Servant

Did you know...

that we need to show mercy towards other people?  Mercy means to be be kind, compassionate, and forgiving.

This story is a parable about forgiveness.

One day, Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who does something mean to me? Up to seven times?”

“No,” Jesus answered, “Seventy times seven!”

Now, let’s do some math here, that would equal 490 times! Basically Jesus is saying we should always forgive someone. 

Jesus parable servant

Jesus told the story of a king who was looking to see how much money his servants owed him. One man owed him a lot of money – ten thousand talents (that was what money was called then) and the king wanted the money back. The man, however, didn’t have the money to repay him. 

king servant

The king said that to pay him back, the man, his wife, and children would all be sold to pay for the money he owed. To be sold would make them all slaves!

When the man heard this, he fell on his knees before the king and began to beg, “Oh sir, be patient with me and I will pay all the money back.”  

servant king


When the king saw the man begging, he felt sorry for him. He told him that he was forgiving his debt, meaning that the man didn’t have to pay back any of the money. He released him and told him to go home. The man was very happy – he no longer owed any money and his family was safe. 

king servant debt

When the man left the king, he met up with a fellow servant who owed him a hundred pence. This was much less than what the man had owed the king.
He grabbed the servant by the throat and said, “Pay me what you owe!” The servant fell down in front of the man and begged for more time to pay. But the man didn’t listen and was impatient and unforgiving. He ordered that the servant be put in jail. 

servant owe money

When the other servants saw what had been done, they were very upset and they went to the king to tell him what had happened. The king called in the man who he had forgiven and said, “You evil man!  I forgave you the huge amount of money that you owed me because you begged me and I had mercy on you, but you didn’t do the same for the man that owed you much less money. You didn’t show the same mercy on your fellow servant in the same way.” 

servant king



The king was so angry with the man that he sent him to prison until he had paid back every penny. 

unforgiving servant


Jesus ended the story explaining, if we don’t forgive other’s in our hearts, then God won’t forgive us either.  

Jesus parable
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Bible lesson activities

Learning Activity Extensions

Read the story in the Bible:  Matthew 18:21-35

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Unforgiving servant
Man demanding his money

Forgive us Our Debts - Part 1

Living Scriptures (7:37 min) 

Forgive Us Our Debts - Part 2

Living Scriptures   (2:21 min)

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