Forgive from the heart!
21 Then Kefa (Peter) came up and said to him, “Rabbi, how often can my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 “No, not seven times,” answered Yeshua, “but seventy times seven! 23 Because of this, the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared with a king who decided to settle accounts with his deputies. 24 Right away they brought forward a man who owed him many millions; 25 and since he couldn’t pay, his master ordered that he, his wife, his children and all his possessions be sold to pay the debt. 26 But the servant fell down before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27 So out of pity for him, the master let him go and forgave the debt.
28 “But as that servant was leaving, he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him some tiny sum. He grabbed him and began to choke him, crying, ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ 29 His fellow servant fell before him and begged, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30 But he refused; instead, he had him thrown in jail until he should repay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were extremely distressed; and they went and told their master everything that had taken place. 32 Then the master summoned his servant and said, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt just because you begged me to do it. 33 Shouldn’t you have had pity on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And in anger his master turned him over to the jailers for punishment until he paid back everything he owed. 35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat you, unless you each forgive your brother from your hearts.”
This is a longer group of verses, but the story/parable must be kept together. A teaching on forgiveness...
Peter wants to know how many times he is expected to forgive his brother. He thinks seven times is a good number. In our humanness, seven is a lot. When someone keeps hurting us, it gets harder and hard to forgive.
Jesus (the Rabbi - which really means "teacher") says, "Seventy times seven!" Many want to ask, "why this number?" It is obvious that it isn't about counting and keeping track. It is now about, "Just do it!"
The story Jesus tells about the servant, every time I hear it I think, "What idiot would do such a thing?" But then I stop and think about my actions, and I realize that I can be/have been that idiot. God has given me chance after chance, forgiveness and more forgiveness. I turn around and judge a neighbor, or I hold a grudge against a friend.
This short example should be a reminder to us that forgiveness is important. God wants us to get along with our family, friends, workers, community. He wants us to show grace and mercy. The story is clear about what happens to those who do not, "forgive from the heart."
Use this example today as a reminder to forgive those around you. Walk in the King's grace and mercy and extend that example to those He brings your way.
God's Truth brings freedom...
Love and blessings,
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