Tag: seven times
Scripture reading for October 11th: Matthew 16-19
When we are offended or hurt by another human being, particularly one who is close to us, one of the most difficult things to do is to forgive that offense. In fact, the Greek word for offense, “scandalon”, has a meaning related to the bait in a trap. If we choose to be offended, we take the bait and are caught in the trap! Many are the people who have been caught in the trap of offense and many are those who will miss heaven because they refuse to forgive others!
Jesus responded to Peter’s question, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21-22) “Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times but seventy-seven times.” (or seventy times seven) Jesus was trying to help Peter and his disciples understand the unlimited need that they would have to forgive others. It was so great that they could not keep track. To illustrate this point, Jesus told them a story.
In this story, a great king had a servant who owed him a sum roughly equivalent to $10,000,000. This servant could not pay back the debt, so the King ordered that he, his wife, his children, and all he had be sold. The servant begged the king for mercy promising to pay back everything; the king had compassion and forgave the debt! (Matthew 18:23-25) This same man then went out and found a man who owed him $20.00. He violently threatened him and had the man thrown in jail when he could not pay him. The poor man’s cries for mercy fell on deaf ears.
In due time, the king heard from others what had happened. He called in the servant on whom he had shown mercy. He reminded him of his mercy and asked why he did not show some mercy as well. The king then became angry and turned the man over to the torturers in jail. He would not get out until he paid all! The bottom line of this story was a picture of how our heavenly Father will treat each of us if we fail to forgive our brother from our heart!
Check your heart today! Have you forgiven those who have wronged you? Have you asked God to forgive you your sins and debt? Today is the best time to act!