SUNDAY SCHOOL @ HOME – 15th Sunday after Pentecost/September 13, 2020
Bible Passage (for parents)
Parable of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35)
Jesus is talking with his disciples. Peter asked Jesus a question. He asked Jesus if someone sinned against him, or did something wrong to him, how many times did he have to forgive him. Peter asked, “Do I have to forgive him 7 times?” Jesus said, “No, not 7 times, but 77 times!” Jesus then told a parable. Let’s watch the video and hear the parable together.
Watch this video together:
In last week’s gospel, Jesus said that when you have a disagreement with someone, you should go to them directly and tell them what you are upset about. We learned that friendships are important to Jesus. Relationships matter to Jesus. When Jesus said we should forgive 77 times, he meant we should forgive as many times as we need to in order to restore our relationship. In the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, we heard about how there was a King who had some servants who owed him money. They couldn’t pay. The King forgave them. He said they didn’t have to pay him back. He forgave them and restored their relationship. Jesus tells us this parable, this teaching story, to teach us about God. God is like the King. God forgives us. God is always working to restore our relationship with God. But then we hear about one of the servants who is forgiven and has the chance to forgive someone and doesn’t. Jesus is still teaching us something. You and I have been forgiven by God and sometimes we don’t forgive others. Jesus is teaching us that just as God forgives us, we should forgive others. Jesus even taught it in the Lord’s Prayer: “Forgive us our trespasses (debts) as we forgive our trespassers (debtors).”
- Why do you think Jesus told this parable?
- What is the story in the Parable all about? What is Jesus trying to teach us?
- How can not forgiving someone become a bad thing for us?
Forgive One Another.
Use a pillowcase (you can purchase one from a discount store if you’d like) and use permanent markers (or fabric markers, if you have them) and write these phrases on the pillowcase: “Wow God, you are…”; “I am sorry for…”; “Please help…”; “Thank you for…”. This can serve as a reminder of the things to pray for each night before bed. You can use markers to add any decoration to the pillowcase that is desired. We did that is when my sons were younger and they used these pillowcases for years, even asking for them when we changed sheets (despite the fact that they weren’t all that excited to make them in the first place).
Watch this very creative retelling of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. Maybe it will inspire your family to retell the story in your own creative way.
Forgiveness is an important part of being a Christian. When we are baptized, we are forgiven of our sins, made part of God’s family forever, and given the gift of new life. Not only does God forgive us, but God calls us to forgive others. Sometimes we are like Peter and wonder how many times we have to forgive someone. But Jesus teaches us today that there is no end to God’s forgiveness. We, too, should take every opportunity to make our relationship with others whole through forgiveness. We shouldn’t let others abuse us or bully us, but we can forgive others in our hearts even if we have to tell an adult if something bad is happening to us. Jesus told his first disciples and he tells us, “Love one another.”
- When was a time it was hard to forgive someone?
- When was a time it was hard to ask to be forgiven?
- How does it feel to know that God’s forgiveness never ends?
Pray: God, we thank you that your forgiveness is never ending. Help us love one another the way that you do. Help us forgive one another the way that you do. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Pastor Dan Fugate, Assistant to the Bishop for Discipleship in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA, put this lesson together for Sunday School @ Home. There will be a new one for each Sunday while we are unable to gather together physically in our congregational buildings. Contact him at [email protected].