Shaped by a life of service to Christ’s Church, Fr. Christopher has dedicated himself to using all the tools God has placed at his disposal to spread the light of Orthodoxy across America. As Founding Father and host of the Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) and the “Come Receive The Light” national Orthodox Christian radio program, he shepherds a dynamic and rapidly expanding ministry bringing joy, hope, and salvation in Jesus Christ to millions of listeners on Internet and land-based radio around the world in more than 130 countries. Fr. Christopher is the former President of Hellenic College Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology and Parish Priest of Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.
Matthew 18:21-35, 19:1-9
Forgiveness in the Church
Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
1. Peter comes to Christ with a question, “How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?”
2. Jesus response not “up to seven times but up to seventy times seven”
Do not keep track of wrong doings
Parable- story of a man, a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves.
Talents- each talent worth approx., six thousand denarii, or six thousand days’ wages for the laborer, 10,000 talents was an extraordinary amount. Debt is unrealistic- billions of dollars in today’s world. Figure is huge because it images the debt of sin we owe to the King of Heaven.
The slaves plea and later actions toward one who owed him 100 denarii (that is just over 3 month wages for the working man, a figure 600,000 times less than he owed the King.)
“Be patient with me and I will repay you”
Reasonable demand of the King to forgive what the man could not do even though his life and family were spared.
Message to us- forgive, forget, move on.
The past is behind us, the future is unknown, live in the joy of the present!
1. Final part of Christ’s journey to Jerusalem (20:17)
Wherever Jesus went, there was the power of God.
1. Conflict with the Pharisee over Divorce 1. They ask if it is permitted for a man to dismiss his wife in divorce in every cause. It wans’t a question but a trap. 2. Jesus Christ refers them to scripture- He who created them Gen 2:24, a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, so that the two will be one flesh.
+Pharisee refer to what Moses wrote later in the law
A man shall give his wife a booklet of divorces and dismiss her (Deut. 24:1-3) If divorce is contrary to the will of God, why did Mosescommand this? To prevent serial divorces and remarriage of the same women. This was a practice referring to the trading of animals.
1. Christ rather severe response and acknowledgement not everyone can make room in his heart for his word of teaching.
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