That’s a Lot of Forgiveness!

4 Sep

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times. -Matthew 18:21-22

Peter probably thought he was being overly generous in offering to forgive someone seven times, since Jewish tradition one required three opportunities to forgive. After hanging out with Jesus for a while he knew to go above and beyond what tradition dictated in these types of things. But when Jesus replied that even seven was too small a number, Peter was certainly thrown for a loop!

Jesus instructed the disciples to forgive someone seventy times (or some translations say seventy times seven). In either case, the message is quite clear…no person is going to keep a literal tally of seventy or more instances of offering forgiveness.

Since to forgive means to release, cancel, or loose, once we have forgiven someone the slate is wiped clean, just as our debt to God is wiped away the moment we ask His forgiveness. Following the Lord’s example, the sins of others towards us should be tossed into an ocean or bottomless pit, as far as the east is from the west.

And we must continue to be aware of, and grateful for, the mercy shown to us, because the same is expected of us in our relationships. Don’t waste time being unforgiving and bitter, but invest time in
being compassionate and merciful.

This is what Jesus teaches and lives. Mercy comes alongside justice and cancels the debt. It costs the forgiven to release us of our obligations, but He loves us enough to do it. How can we but respond with the same generosity toward others?


2 Responses to “That’s a Lot of Forgiveness!”


  1. Resolution…a calling from Jesus « sixbrownbears - September 5, 2012

    […] That’s a Lot of Forgiveness”! ( […]

  2. East to the West « tina7serrano's Blog - September 22, 2012

    […] That’s a Lot of Forgiveness”! ( […]

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