Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22 NASB
What occurs to me is that our ways rarely measure up to God’s ways. Peter thought that he was being generous by offering to forgive his brother seven times. I can imagine the look on his face when he heard seventy times seven. Wait, you mean God forgives 70 times more than I would. However, it gets worse for Peter as Jesus gives the parable about the slaves, how much they owe, and how much they are forgiven or refuse to forgive. If you do the math, one slave was forgiven over 100,000 years’ worth of wages, then refused to forgive the other slave who owed a few months’ worth of wages. In human terms, the first could not possibly repay his debt, but was forgiven. He then turned around and refused to forgive what could be considered a very manageable debt.
The lesson is that we did not, could not, and never would be able to earn the forgiveness that God gives us if we only ask. In light of how much He has forgiven us, how can we possibly hold back our forgiveness for what amounts to trivial issues in comparison?
Lord, thank You for the forgiveness that was bought by the blood of Jesus and You freely give to us when we ask. Please grant us the ability to see past our petty squabbles the same way You saw past our insurmountable sin. Help us to release others from their sin in the same way that You released us.
Gene Larson, Facilities Team
North Braddock Campus