"F" is for Forgiveness

The Unforgiving Servant

"Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors" Matthew 6:12.

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Prayer of Jesus

This fun, Bible alliteration lesson can be used as a stand alone lesson or with Lesson 4, "Confession and Forgiveness," from our Prayer of Jesus Bible Lessons.

(When a word that begins with "F" is spoken, children make the hand sign for forgive: left palm faced up, move right palm faced down two times along the length of the left palm and beyond, as if wiping it off, which is what Jesus does for us, he wipes our sins away.
Emphasize and pause ever so slightly when saying the bolded words.)

One day, when Jesus was teaching his followers, Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied with a smile on his face, “but seventy times seven!" (Which means an unending amount of times!)

Jesus continued, "Peter, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided it was time for his servants to pay back the money they owed him. One of them had failed to pay back millions of dollars, so his master said it was time he faced the consequences and be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all back.’ His master was filled with pity for him, and so he freed him and forgave his debt.

But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He fiercely grabbed him by the throat, and getting in his face, said, ‘Hey, fellow, it’s time to finish paying your debt! 

His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he fearfully pleaded. But he wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

When some of the other fellow servants saw this, they were very upset and frustrated. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to the jailers to finish paying his debt."

“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive other people when they sin against you.”


1) What is the main point Jesus taught here? (Receive answers) Jesus wants us to understand why we must have forgiving hearts and attitudes. We all owe an unpayable debt towards God.  Jesus died on the cross to pay the debt we owe, a debt we could not pay back! Therefore, we must be willing to forgive others.

2) What did the money in this story represent? (Our sin) We can sometimes think that our sin isn’t as bad as other people’s sin. But that’s the wrong way to look at it. We aren’t compared to others. We're compared to Holy God, "For all have sinned and fall short of God's glory" Romans 3:23. 

3) Is forgiving a person easy when they hurt you or say bad things about you? (Receive answers) It’s very difficult, isn’t it? But when you trust in Jesus and ask for his help, he promises to never leave you. He promises to help you. In fact, the Holy Spirit is called the Helper (John 15:26). He is given to everyone who trusts in Jesus.

4) Why do you suppose the hand sign for forgive is a wiping away motion? (Jesus wipes our sins away! We no longer have our sin, Jesus paid the debt we owe! We are clean! We can be in our FATHER's HOLY PRESENCE for eternity!

Copyright 2024 S. A. Keith
Illustration courtesy of FreeBibleImages.org

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