Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Commands of Christ - Matthew 18:21-22

"Then Peter came to Him and said, "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." -Matthew 18:21-22

To whom is this command spoken?

Spoken to Peter.

What does the command require?

Forgive your brother up to seventy times seven times.

What truths do we learn here?

Peter must have thought he was doing well with the suggestion of forgiving seven times. The Pharisees taught to forgive three times. So what Peter did was double that, then add one just for good measure. Jesus knocked Peter's socks off with His response.

Not seven times, not even seventy times, but seventy times seven. This is an inconceivably high number to forgive someone. Many times I struggle even reaching the seven times. But Jesus desires that we forgive until we don't feel like it anymore, then keep on forgiving. The number here isn't important. Jesus is not saying that we forgive 490 times and then we're free to do whatever we want to the offender. The person that can forgive like that is not keeping track. The person that can forgive like this is modeling the forgiveness of God.

Think about it. How many times do you sin in a day? a week? a year? Yet every time we come to God and confess our sins to Him, He forgives us. He has even given us a promise that He will forgive us and cleanse us of all unrighteousness if we confess our sins to Him.

How forgiving are you? Do you model God's forgiveness to your brothers and sisters in Christ? Do you model God's forgiveness to unbelievers? Do you have to think about it each time your brother asks for forgiveness? or do you just forgive as soon as it is asked of you? "And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." -Ephesians 4:32.

What are the consequences for disobedience?

Bitterness, relational conflict, spiritual drought, judgment from God,

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