Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

Friday, August 18, 2017
Forgiveness: What a great lesson for students and adults!
Peter was talking to Jesus and asked Him how many times is a person expected to forgive a person that keeps sinning against him? Peter asked if he had to forgive up to seven times?

Jesus told Peter that not only does God want us to forgive someone seven times, He expects us to forgive that person seventy times seven! Not seven times seven… but seventy times seven! We are always expected to be forgiving! God doesn't want us to keep a book to keep track of the seventy times seven! He just wants us to love others, have compassion and forgive. It's not always easy! Sometimes it is very hard.
As Jesus was talking to Peter, He told this parable. A parable is an earthly story with a Heavenly meaning. Scripture is Matthew 18:21-35.
Jesus began the parable by saying that the kingdom of heaven is like this king He is going to tell Peter about. The king wanted to balance the accounts with his servants.
While the king was looking at the accounts, he found that one of the people that was brought to him owed him 10,000 talents. But, the servant couldn't afford to repay the king 10,000!

The servant was told that he was to be sold; along with his wife and children. All that he had would have to be sold to repay that payment. The servant fell to his knees and begged his master to have patience with him. "Just have patience with me and I will find a way to repay the 10,000 talents that I owe you!"
The master was so full of compassion for the servant, that he told him "I forgive you of your debt and you do not have to repay me the 10,000 talents!"

But then that same servant, who was forgiven of his debt, went to another servant that owed him 100 denarii.
Talents and denarii were both forms of money during the time of Jesus. (My research showed that 1 talent was about 6,000 Denarii.) This servant owed him 100 denarii, but he had owed the master 60,000,000 denarii!
The man that was just forgiven his debt, grabbed the servant that owed him money and took him by the throat! He told him that he had to pay back the 100 denarii that was owed.
The man fell down at his feet and begged him to have patience! He said "I will pay you back the whole 100 denarii that I owe you!" But, the servant wouldn't give him another chance to repay the money. He put the man in prison! And, the man had to stay in prison until he could repay the 100 denarii!

When the other servants heard about what the man had done they were very upset! They went to their master and told him what the servant had done.

The master called for the servant and was very angry! He told the servant "You are an evil sinful man! I forgave you of all your debt! (It was a lot of money) You begged me to remove the debt because you could not repay it. And, I did forgive the debt. And, shouldn't you have the same compassion for others just like I had for you?"
The master was so angry, he sent the servant to the prison to be tortured until he could repay all the money he owed.
Jesus finished the parable by saying this: God wants, no, expects us to forgive others. From the heart and really mean it! Because if we don't, then He won't forgive us of the things that we do wrong.
This actually started out as a worksheet and the concept was good. I thought. I like discussion starters for the application part of the lesson. But the worksheet looked boring to me. It will probably be ok for older levels, so I decided to keep it in the download. I decided on the foldable you see in the picture above. Just print, fold in half and in half again to make a booklet. I used Joseph in Genesis as an example, so you might want to look at the chapters listed before class. ☺ Color and black & white are included for both printables. Click here to download.
Click here to download and print this lesson.
Click here to download and print the visuals.
 (These have been updated from the original set)
Click here to download the Pictures to Color.
The visuals have been updated and the cloud effect has been removed. Not all are shown.
They are the same as the visuals, but are black and white.
Or, I also re-created Cathy's Magnetic Board Visuals. Also included in this set are your choices of Parable Posters. You will find a different set of Parable Posters in each of Cathy's Parable Magnetic Board Visuals sets. They have different graphics so you can pick the style you like best. They are great to laminate and use with every Parable lesson. Click here to see them.


  1. My Sunday School lesson for this Sunday is on Forgive and Forget using the parable of the unforgiving servant. To me, the lesson didn't break it down enough for the kids. So, I came to your site and found this lesson which I love because of the visuals. They really bring the lesson to light for the younger kids. At the end of the lesson I have at least two kids (a boy and girl) to retell the lesson in their own words using the visuals. I can't thank you enough for your creativity and how well you simplify the lessons for the younger group.


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