7 Times 70
In Matthew 18, Jesus continues to heal and minister to his disciples and others who choose to follow him. Peter asks Jesus about how often we should forgive others and Jesus responds with a parable.
In the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, there's a servant who owes a great amount to his master. He begs and please for mercy over this debt and he will pay as soon as he is able. The Master took pity over his servant and cancelled his debt completely. The servant goes out and finds one of his fellow servants who owes him 100 silver coins. He runs up on him and chokes him, demanded he be paid back. His fellow servant begs for mercy as he will pay him back when he is able. Our first servant refuses and has his colleague thrown in jail. When word got back to the Master about what the servant had done, the Master became outraged and threw him into jail with orders that he be tortured until the servant paid back all his debt to the Master. Jesus ends his parable with “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Simple. Furthermore, its important to recognize the symbolism behind the "master" and the "servant". The servant begs for mercy and pity to be pardoned of his debt the same way we ask God for grace and mercy for our sins. We know the wages of our sin is death, and sin is the debt we carry everyday. We also know that we cannot repay God for sending His only son for our sins, but because of God's grace, we are able to be pardoned and freed from our sin. This is why in the Lord's Prayer we read "and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors." If we forgive those who sin against us, our Heavenly Father will also forgive us.