It seems Peter is always trying to impress the Teacher. Why not? That’s what good students should do.
Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?
Forgiving seven times must have seemed pleasingly extravagant to Peter. The religious teaching of the day called for a maximum of three times. Peter doubles it and adds one!
Surely, the Teacher will give him special recognition for this!
But He isn’t impressed - I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times!
The story that follows is about a man who simply doesn’t get this lesson at all! The king forgives this man’s enormous debt, but what does he do?
But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.
The king reacts - You wicked servant! Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you? The king then revokes his forgiveness. Reinstates the debt!
What’s the problem? Why couldn’t he forgive just a little, after being forgiven so much?
Perhaps, because he never really received the king’s forgiveness in the first place! Oh, technically his debt was cancelled but his heart was unchanged.
He didn’t receive the king’s grace at all. If he had, there would have been a degree of graciousness in his own heart.
So how do we know if the King has truly forgiven us?
We too forgive. If we can’t, nothing changed!