Peter came and said to Jesus, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?"
Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times."
Then Jesus told this parable...
"For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents (equivalent to ~150,000 years of wages) was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii (equivalent to ~100 days of wages); and seizing him by the throat, he said, `Pay what you owe.' Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place."
This parable is a vivid, exaggerated, narrative illustration of the familiar words of the Lord's Prayer. Whenever Christians gather to worship, we pray Forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us. Or, in another translation, Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Easier said then done, sometimes. Scripture tells us that God's mercy & forgiveness are unfathomably enormous. (As unfathomably enormous as 150,000 years worth of wages!) Yet experience tells us that it isn't always easy to receive that mercy or extend that mercy to others.
Share a story about a time you received mercy, or a time you extended mercy to another. Or share a story about a time you didn't.