March 26, 2012

Matthew 18:21-22

21 Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Should I forgive as many as seven times?”
 22 Jesus said, “Not just seven times, but rather as many as seventy-seven times." (CEB)

The point of this dialogue is not to have Peter (or us) sharpen our math skills but rather the power of forgiveness. Stop for a second and think about this question from another perspective...what if God was asking how many times He had to forgive you and me? 

All of a sudden "seventy-seven" (or some translations say "seventy times seven") doesn't seem like that many. Remember, the focus is not to track the number of times you forgive someone and once he or she gets to 490 times you don't have to forgive him or her anymore. Just like the number seven represents "wholeness" in the Bible, the point of Jesus' response is to forgive wholly. What does it look like for you to forgive wholly? Who needs to receive forgiveness from you today?

What do you find meaningful, confusing, or challenging in this passage? 


Anne said...

What a challenge, right? Because it's easy to forgive someone who hurts you once -- but those who hurt you over and over and over...after a while, it seems easier to hold on to the pain and anger and not forgive. Especially challenging when they don't acknowledge what's happened or apologize -- and that is exactly when (and why) we need to forgive. But it's not easy!