Through examples and parables, Jesus leads Peter to learn the power of forgiveness and how to control his anger at those who do him wrong. Through Peter's experience, we learn the lesson of forgiveness. As Peter looks over the day's excellent catch of fish, two demanding tax collectors come up to his boat. Mocking Peter's faith in Christ, they tell Peter they will return the next day to collect their tax for the temple. Jesus tells the angry Peter to forgive the tax collectors and to go to the sea and cast in his line. There, as Jesus foretold, Peter catches a fish. In the mouth of the fish is the money to pay the tax. But Peter is still angry and pays the tax with bitterness in his heart. Peter asks Jesus,"How many times do I forgive a man who has done me wrong?" Jesus tells Peter that he must forgive everyone not just once, or seven times, but "seven times seventy times." Jesus relates the parable of the foolish and proud Hazor who owes a large debt to the King. Unable to pay the debt, the man begs the King's forgiveness. The merciful King forgives Hazor of the debt. Leaving the palace, Hazor meets Micah, a poor man who owes him money. Hazor insists Micah pay him immediately. "Just a little more time," Micah pleads. Hazor, although forgiven by the King, angrily refuses to forgive in his own right and sends Micah to prison. When the King finds out about Hazor's hard-hearted act, he orders Micah released and arrests Hazor in his place. The King tells Hazor, "I would love to show you mercy, but how can I forgive you, when you refuse to forgive others?" Peter interprets the parable to Jesus, explaining that the wise King represents God, and His forgiveness is there for all of us, if we can accept it and freely forgive others. Peter forgives the dumb-founded tax collectors. Peter is now able to spread this new message of forgiveness to others, even to the tax collectors themselves
Galatians 1:3-5 New International Version (NIV)
3 Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4 who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5 to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.