Forgiving Seventy Times Seven













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Forgiving Seventy Times Seven

By Larry R. Lasiter


"'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

It is certain that Peter thought that he was being generous when he was willing to forgive a brother who had sinned against him up to seven times - he must have been shocked to hear Jesus say, "No, I say to you, up to seventy times seven."

Who had ever heard of such patience and longsuffering? Think about it. Someone deliberately sins against you personally literally hundreds of times and God expects you to forgive them. Yet that is the very example God has given for us to follow.

 We have sinned against a holy God thousands of times and yet He stands always ready to forgive. Jesus illustrates this fact beautifully in the parable of the prodigal son who squandered his inheritance on immorality and foolishness yet was received back by his father with open arms. In fact, when his father saw him returning from a distance, he ran to meet him with a warm embrace. The father was so happy that he threw a big party for his son.

 This is how our Heavenly Father feels when a wayward child returns, -"There will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance." (Luke 15)

What does it cost you to forgive those who have sinned many times against you? Well, it costs you patience, tolerance and the satisfaction of vengeance. What does it cost God to forgive you of your sins against Him? Well, it costs Him patience, tolerance and the satisfaction of vengeance too but much, much more - it cost Him the life of His only begotten Son.

All of us have violated the holiness of the Son of God, yet in love, Jesus yielded Himself to terrible suffering and death for our sins to be forgiven and while on the cross He cried, -"Father forgive them for they don't understand what they are doing." (Luke 23)

 To drive home the point of the importance of forgiving others, Jesus followed our text with a parable about two debtors. Jesus began this story by saying that the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to it. In other words, the parable was to show how the King and the citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven are to conduct their business.

The first man had run up an enormous debt to his king and had no means to repay. Jesus put the debt at ten thousand talents which is the equivalent of five billion U.S. Dollars and would take more than three thousand lifetimes to earn working at the average salary. Just when the king was ready to sell him, his wife and children as slaves, the man begged saying, -"Have patience with me and I will repay you everything." The king knew that he could never repay the debt, but feeling compassion for him forgave his debt.

 Rather than following the example of his king, this man seized a man who was indebted to him for a hundred denarii which is the equivalent of about eight thousand U.S. Dollars and takes about four months to earn.

 The debtor asked for patience but the man was unwilling and had him cast into prison. When the king heard of this he was moved with anger and arrested the man and handed him over to torturers."My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart."








Points of Truth Ministries