86. Faithful to forgive.
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
"If your brother sins against you seven times in a day and seven times comes back to you and says,'I repent' forgive him." (Luke 17:4) Did Jesus therefore limit forgiveness to a certain number of times? Definitely not! But that was what Peter understood, that he came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Upto seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times" - (Matthew 18:21-22), meaning any multiple number of times or limitless! The Apostles were surprised by this attitude of Christ that they remarked, "Increase our faith!" Surely Jesus wouldn't have asked his disciples to practice this limitless forgiveness unless he himself didn't practice it. It therefore reveals Christ's forbearance (patient self-control; restraint and tolerance) in dealing with us and it should encourage us today to confess our sins to him without feeling ashamed of having failed yet again and having to confess our sins, once again! 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.' (1 John 1:9) It's our lack of faith in the faithfulness of God to forgive seven-seventy times that keeps us away from God, languishing in the prisons of our own making, not willing to forgive ourselves because we can't believe he has forgiven us. And only those who have believed and received this unconditional forgiveness from God for their sins, are able to forgive others unconditionally. Let's be assured of his forgiveness.