The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
Kids at home 7th February
Sometimes Jesus told stories when He wanted people to really understand important lessons. If the lessons were hard then Jesus sometimes told simple stories to help people understand the things that were hard to understand. These stories were called parables.
Over the next few weeks we are going to be learning some of the parables that Jesus told and looking at what Jesus is teaching us in each one!
Today we are learning about The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.
Let’s start with some worship! Feel free to sing and dance or just watch and listen, Jesus doesn’t mind HOW we worship, he just loves it when we spend time with him and sing his praises!
Great Big God – Vineyard Kids
You are Good – Bethel Kids
Alive – Hillsong Young & Free
Ever be – Bethel Kids
The Parable of the unforgiving servant
At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?” Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.
“The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.
“The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.
“The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’
“The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.
“The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.” Matthew 18:21-35
Note to families:
You can also watch a video of this parable here!
Some important points to remember…
- Jesus told this story to help people understand a very important lesson about forgiveness.
- Peter asks Jesus how many times he is supposed to forgive someone who does something wrong to him. Peter guesses that you should forgive someone seven times but Jesus has a different idea of what forgiveness looks like!
- Jesus says we must forgive them seventy times seven times! That works out as a very big number! Now, Jesus isn’t saying that we should start counting every time we forgive someone and when we hit that big number we should stop forgiving them. He uses such a big number because He means that we should just keep on forgiving someone, every single time they do something wrong to us!
- Jesus is teaching us to forgive others in the same way that God forgives us! God always forgives us no matter what we do wrong, He doesn’t keep a record of our wrongs but instead gives us a clean slate to start all over again every time we make a mistake and this is the way that we should forgive others too.
- In the story Jesus told, the King forgave the servant the big debt (which was a lot of money) that he owed him. Forgiving that debt was an incredible act of mercy by the King. Just like God shows incredible mercy to us by forgiving us every time we get something wrong!
- But after the servant had been let off and forgiven for his large debt by the king, he met another servant who owed him a small amount of money and he did the very thing that he had begged the king not to do to him. He threw the man in prison!
- Jesus is reminding us that we must not be like the unforgiving servant, instead we must follow God’s example and show kindness and mercy and always forgive others like God always forgives us! That’s how God wants us to live!
- It isn’t always easy to forgive people who have made us feel sad or angry but the amazing thing is that by asking for God’s help, and by remembering how kind He is to us, we can always find it in our hearts to forgive others.
Some things to talk to your family about…
- In this parable, the king forgave his servant and didn’t make him pay back the huge amount of money that he owed him. Afterwards, the servant found out that another servant owed him a little bit of money. Did he forgive the servant that owed him a small amount of money? What happened?
- Why do you think that the king might have then been angry with the unforgiving servant?
- How would you feel if you lent your friend or brother or sister your favourite toy and they broke it? Do you think it would be easy to forgive them?
- Is it always easy to forgive people who make us sad? Who can help us find it in our hearts to forgive someone?
- Does God always forgive us when we get things wrong?
- What do you think Jesus is teaching us about forgiveness by telling this parable?
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32
God always forgives us! He keeps no record of our wrongs and He asks us to forgive others who might have upset us like He forgives us! Sometimes that can feel quite hard to do but remember, we can always ask God to help us and give us the strength and the love to do it. Remember, He is always by our side in everything we do and we can always turn to Him and ask Him for help with anything!
Why don’t you try and make up some actions at home with your family to help you try and remember this verse?
Is there anyone that you can think of who might have upset you or made you angry recently that you need to forgive? Or maybe you can think of a time when you haven’t been kind to someone, maybe a friend or someone in your family, is there anyone you need to say sorry to? Why don’t you ask God to help you think and help you to say sorry to someone if you need to? You can also ask Him to help you forgive someone who has made you sad if you’re finding it hard to.
Thank you that you love us so much and that you always forgive us, no matter what! Thank you that you forgive us every time we make a mistake and that it doesn’t matter how many mistakes we make, you will always forgive us and show us mercy just like the king did in the story. Help us to show mercy and kindness to others and help us to forgive them as you always forgive us!