HOST: Ron House
Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times. “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”
Forgiveness. It is something that we all want and need, but something that we often struggle to give others. In this text, Peter asks a question that we might all wonder about sometimes. How often should I forgive a person who continues to do wrong toward me? Peter’s offer of seven times was a very generous one (the Jewish rule of thumb for the day was three times). However, Jesus’ instructions concerning our forgiveness of others were much broader, and much more challenging. “Seventy-seven times” was not meant to pinpoint a specific number of times that we are required to forgive, but rather to teach a principle—forgive as often as is needed. Jesus gives this command based on the nature of God’s forgiveness toward us as demonstrated by Jesus’ parable. Whatever wrong someone might have committed against us, and however often that wrong might have been committed, it cannot compare to the number of times that we have sinned against God. Yet God’s forgiveness is abundant and constantly available. If God is willing to forgive us so often, we ought to extend that forgiveness to others. May God help us to forgive our brother!
Why is it so important that we forgive others?
Don’t forget to pray and have a great day!