Seventy Times Seven

“Seven Times Seventy” (Matthew 18:21-35)   The ability to forgive is an attribute that is essential for a disciple of Jesus Christ. Peter asked Jesus how many times he would need to forgive someone. The Rabbinic tradition was that you needed to do so three times. Although Peter assumed seven times would be adequate, Jesus taught him that there were no limits set on how often we are to forgive.   To help the disciples better understand this, Jesus teaches them using a parable. There was a servant of the king who owed a debt so large that he could never pay it back. When asked to pay it, he pleaded with his master to give him more time to repay the debt. Because of the master’s great mercy, he forgave all of his debt.   However, the servant then went out and found another servant who owed him just a small amount. When the second servant asked for time to repay, the first servant refused and threw him into prison. When his master learned of this, he jailed the first servant for his unwillingness to forgive even though he had been forgiven so much himself.   Jesus teaches us that we have had all of our sins forgiven by God’s great mercy. This serves as our model for forgiving others. We need to be willing to forgive, no matter how many times it is needed.   Is there someone you need to forgive? Let us be a people who know no limits to forgiveness.   Blessings,   Pastor Steven