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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 18.21-35

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Present the reading for children

Geoff Hays,

How many times should I forgive someone who has done something bad to me?’ Peter asked Jesus. ‘As many as seven times?’ This seemed very forgiving to Peter.

‘Let me tell you a story about two slaves,’ Jesus replied.

‘The first slave owed his king 10,000 talents, more money than he could ever pay back. The king came to him, saying, “It’s time to pay up. If you don’t have the money, you’ll have to sell everything you own – your house, your possessions, even your wife and children.” The slave fell to his knees and begged him for more time. Seeing his distress, the king said, “I have changed my mind. You are released from the debt.”

‘Straight away, the first slave went out and met another slave. This second slave owed the first slave a smaller amount, just 100 denarii. “Pay up what you owe me,” the first slave demanded.

‘The second slave begged, just as the first one had, “Please have patience. I need more time to pay.” There was no pity in the first slave, though. He had the man who owed him money thrown into prison, saying he wouldn’t be set free until he had paid his debt.

‘Of course, all of this was reported back to the king, who was extremely angry. “I had mercy on you!” he shouted at the first slave. “Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow slave?” Then the king handed over the man to be tortured until he had paid everything he owed.’

Jesus looked at Peter and his other disciples. ‘So you must forgive more than seven times. Let’s say seventy-seven times. You really have to forgive people with your hearts, not just your mouths. If you don’t, my heavenly Father will punish you, like the king punished his slave.’


talent a weight of 30-35kg. 10,000 talents of gold would be worth more than £326 million today;
denarius a small silver Roman coin. One denarius was a labourer’s daily wage. 100 denarii would be worth about £1,500 today.

Talk together

  • What do you think Peter might have felt listening to Jesus’ story and answer?
  • Has anyone ever forgiven you for something? How did it feel?
  • How many times could you forgive someone?

Activity Sheet English


Colouring Sheet English


Activity Sheet Welsh


Colouring Sheet Welsh



PostScript - Counting pompous circumstances


This week's Live your faith sheet

(Bible notes, prayers, a picture and questions for reflection, a live your faith action)



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Reproduced with permission.

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