Jesus Answers The Disciples’ Questions: Jesus on children, offenses & forgiveness.
Reading 1: Matthew 18
Reading 2: Psalm 131
Reading 3: Deuteronomy 19:15
After yesterday’s focus on Peter’s lack of understanding of God’s ways, today we take a wider view and see how all the disciples misunderstood God’s priorities. But along with correction (such as showing them a kindergartner as a model of the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven) Jesus brings some encouraging truths. God the Father will not stop until lost ones are found. We have authority to forbid and permit events on earth, and heaven will agree.
And then He moves on to answer a question arising from another of Peter’s mistaken understandings! Peter probably thought he was doing well suggesting he could forgive someone seven times. Most of us would stop after three or four attempts! But Jesus raises the bar out of reach: seventy-seven or seventy times seven! (Some scholars even say seven to the seventieth power). His point is not that forgiveness is impossible, but that forgiveness can only be a gift from God, just as we could never earn millions of dollars to repay a huge debt, so we depend on God’s kindness to forgive us our sin.
And having been forgiven, let’s not make the same mistake as the servant in Jesus’ story and fail to forgive a much lesser debt owed to us by another. Unforgiveness leads to bondage and torment. Forgiveness is simply passing on to those who have wronged us a little of the fortune we have been freely given.
Why not take a moment to reflect on the magnitude of God’s forgiveness in your life, then give some of that treasure away in the form of forgiveness to another?
Have a great day!