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.”
Yohane Kanthusi Tembo: Central African Preaching Academy | Malawi
We all have offended others, and others have offended us, in one way or another. Peter’s question and our Lord’s answer touch on a very profound topic, one that is part of our day-to-day life. Peter wanted the Lord to approve his seemingly generous forgiveness limit of seven times. But Jesus told him that it was seventy times seven, meaning that Peter should forgive for as many times as it takes. We have received perfect forgiveness in Christ. Let us then forgive others. To truly understand forgiveness, we must start by recognizing that we all have been forgiven by God for innumerable offenses that we would never be able to settle on our own. So, refusing to forgive someone is being unjust to God, who Himself is ready to forgive. The kingdom of God, to which we belong, is a kingdom of mercy. We have been granted grace, and we are to extend the same grace to others, even when they offend us. We must remember that all offenses are toward God, and God’s mercies are new every morning. By nature, we want to keep a record of wrongs and set limits on forgiveness. We don’t want others to take advantage of us, so we reserve mercy for situations that we deem worthy of it. But this text reminds us that true forgiveness that is characteristic of God’s kingdom is unending and without measure. God expects us to forgive just as He forgives us in Christ. Hallelujah! We have received perfect forgiveness in Christ. Let us then forgive others.