Saturday, June 30, 2012

How Many Times???

In the Gospel of Matthew Peter approached Jesus and asked how many times he should forgive some one and then said “As many as seven times?”

Peter wanted to know the limits of forgiveness. How far does a follower of Jesus need to go in tolerating and reconciling with those who sin against him? Peter very likely thought that seven times was very generous as the law only required the Hebrews to forgive an offender three times.

It is tempting for us to want to say to someone who is irritating us: “Sorry, but you have used up the number of times that I am required to forgive you.”

Jesus teaches us that since there is no limit to God’s forgiveness of us, then we need to forgive others without limit as well. As long as someone asks us for forgiveness we are to forgive. Remember that in the Lord’s Prayer we pray to God to forgive us in the same was we forgive others. As I count the number of times that I have the opportunity to forgive another child of God I am in awe of this part of the Lord’s Prayer and the teachings of Jesus on forgiveness.