Forgive as God Forgave You

After Jesus instructed His disciples concerning the process we must follow when another brother sins against us (Mat 18:15-20), Peter asked, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?” Jesus answered by indicating that he must forgive a brother every time no matter how often he sins against him (vss.21-22). Peter offered seven as the number of times he might be required to forgive, but Jesus said not up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven. Jesus was not setting the limit on forgiveness at 490 times, but indicating that our forgiveness must be limitless or complete. Seven is known as the perfect or complete number, and so Jesus may be indicating that we must completely or perfectly forgive our brother no matter how often he sins against us. Jesus followed up His answer to Peter with a parable (vss.23-35). In essence, Jesus teaches us in this parable that since we have been forgiven of so much by our merciful Father in heaven, we must be merciful and always forgive others.

And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God in Christ forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).