Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How Many Times Do We Forgive Others?

Matthew 18:21-22

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

Ray 2019How many times have we forgiven someone for the same thing? Do we have a limit to our forgiveness? Does this saying work for us – fool me once – shame on you – fool me twice – shame on me? How many times will we forgive someone? We mentioned Sunday – praying for our enemies – can we do that?

Peter asked Jesus – how many times should we forgive someone? Seven was a number – often used in the Bible to represent completeness – and Peter would have been OK – I think – if Jesus had said seven times. I imagine Peter had come close to that number on several occasions with people he dealt with on a daily basis. Have we come close to forgiving someone seven times? Would that be considered a lot of times? Would you be satisfied with forgiving someone 7 times?

Jesus’ answer might have blown Peter away. In the NIV – the translation of the answer from Jesus is seventy-seven (77) times. In the KJV – it is interpreted to read – Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. (490 times)

So – depending on your translation – and there might be other translations that have a different number from the Greek – we are to forgive someone – according to Jesus – from 77 to 490 times. In other words – and this is my take on the use of 7’s – we are to forgive completely – endlessly!

We’ve preached about forgiveness in marriage. It is a necessary gift we all need for our marriage. But – forgiveness can be used for any relationship – for sure. Let me pose the question to us this way – how many times do we expect Jesus to forgive us? Have we sins that we have committed time and time again? Are there times we might even get tired of asking for forgiveness – because we have sinned so much? Yet – Christ is ever there to forgive the contrite heart. His forgiveness is endless – so to speak – when we confess and repent – sincerely – of our sins.

So – many times would you forgive someone? How many times would you want others to forgive you? How many times has Jesus forgiven you (me).

Just something for us to think about today as we go on our way.

December 10, 2019 - Posted by | Advent Thought, Build, Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Marriage, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , , , , ,

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