“Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.’” vss. 21-22
When Peter suggested that he might be willing to forgive a brother or sister as many as seven times, he likely thought that he was being generous, perhaps even going beyond what the law demanded. But Jesus was operating under kingdom standards and for him the notion that there were limits to forgiveness was ridiculous. “Not seven times, Peter, but I tell you, seventy-seven times.” It’s hard to wrap our minds around that notion of limitless forgiveness…we’re much more likely to be in the Peter camp. We know what people are like and if we keep on forgiving, well, they’re going to take advantage of us. We wonder if Jesus had never heard of “tough love,” how sometimes we just have to say “no” to people. Of course that kind of thinking misses the point Jesus is trying to make. For him, forgiveness is more of a lifestyle, one in which we recognize the amazing grace God has showered upon us, and then reflect that grace in our willingness to forgive those who have sinned against us. It’s the culture that tells us that we need to get tough…Jesus advises tender gentleness, a willingness to give to others what we have been given…even when it stretches our boundaries.
Thought for the Day: Someone that I’ve never forgiven!