Sometimes we get wrapped up in the parables. We think about the symbolism, and spend our time trying to figure out what they mean. We spend a lot of time figuring out who we are, who God is, what the metaphor is about, and what it means. We sometimes get so wrapped up in figuring out what the parables mean that we forget to ask why Jesus might tell them.
This parable, however, comes right after a good reason to tell it. The disciples having been talking about how to get along in the church, and what to do if someone in the church sins against them. Jesus tells this parable after Peter (of course it’s Peter) asks how many times he needs to forgive someone in the church who sins against him.
Jesus ends up telling the disciples this parable because they need to know what the kingdom of heaven is like. The disciples, then and now, need to know how to forgive, and what the standard of forgiveness is in the kingdom of God. This parable is essentially citizenship training for the people of God. It is also used as a way to mark the contrast between heaven and earth.
Is this a story that these disciples still need to hear? Why or why not?