Alms, Prayer, & Fasting 6:1-18
The Quid pro Quo of Forgiveness vv. 14 & 15
I’ve already referenced these verses commenting on v. 12. But to emphasize the point, take a look at Jesus’ hyperbolic parable of the unmerciful servant in ch. 18:23-35.
Here’s a guy who owes the king ten thousand (!!) bags of gold. The king wants to settle accounts, but his servant can’t repay. Under threat of being sold into slavery he throws himself on the king’s mercy and the king cancels the debt. Then, even as he’s leaving the king’s presence, he sees a fellow servant who owes him a mere hundred silver coins. He grabs him, chokes him, and demands payment. The fellow who has just been forgiven a humungous debt throws the poor wretch into debtors’ prison. The other servants report this incident to the king. And the king, in total outrage, sends the unmerciful fellow to prison and torture.
Jesus looks his audience in the eye and says, “This is how my Heavenly Father will treat each of your unless you forgive your brother and sister from your heart.” Whoa! Where do I sign?