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The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant: Matthew 18:23-35

A Contemporary Paraphrase by Charles Henderson

[23] Therefore God's domain may be compared to a corporate CEO who wished to settle accounts with his employees.
[24] When he began the reckoning, one appeared in his office who owed him ten million dollars;
[25] and as he could not pay, the CEO instructed his lawyers to begin debt collection proceedures, impounding all his possessions if necessary, so that the entire debt could be paid.
[26] The employee fell on his knees, imploring him, "I beg you, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything."
[27] Out of pity alone the CEO let the man go, forgiving the entire debt.
[28] But that same employee, as he went out, came upon one of his co-workers  who owed him a thousand dollars; and seizing him by the throat he said, "Pay what you owe."
[29] So his fellow employee fell down and pleaded, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you."
[30] He refused and immediately pressed charges in court for the payment of  the debt.
[31] When the other workers saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they reported to the CEO all that had taken place.
[32] Then the CEO called his employee into his office and said, "You evil person! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me;
[33] should not you have had mercy on your fellow employee, as I had mercy on you?"
[34] In anger the CEO called the security police to have him thrown out of the office immediately, subjecting him to the full penalties of the law, until the entire debt should be paid.
[35] So also God will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your fellow human beings from your heart."

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ParaphraseİCharles Henderson

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles P. Henderson.