To Jesus… “Really?!”

Did Jesus really mean what he said to the disciples… or was he just blowing smoke?  Consider two times when reaction to something Jesus said might have been met with… “Really?!”

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.”

Luke 17:3 Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 4 and if he sins against you seven times in a day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”

REALLY?!  70 times 7?  Forgive 7 times in ONE DAY?!  REALLY?!!

Jesus wasn’t speaking hypothetically.  He wasn’t engaging in meaningless conversation.  He was being direct.  Clear.  Honest.  Forthright.  Jesus’ point was… “As many times as a person sins against you and asks you to forgive them… DO IT.  There is no end to how many times you are to forgive a person.  Really!”

If we are to forgive anyone, we must love them.  Only when we love a person will we forgive them.  Work through those last two statements.  In closing…

Matthew 18:33 “Should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt.  35  So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”

Ephesians 4:30 “Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31  Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. 32  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted,forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

The basis for us to forgive 7 times in a day… 70 x 7… is that we are to forgive as God in Christ has forgiven us.

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