April 7, 2022 – Thursday
Luke 17:3b-4 NIV
3b “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.
4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
The above is Jesus talking to His disciples. How do you think His apostles responded? Certainly not with enthusiasm, but with, Increase our faith! They did not believe they could do what Jesus was telling them they must do without more faith.
Why would they have such a response? Jewish tradition at the time was to forgive up to three times and then be done with the person. But here was Jesus saying forgiveness was to be seven times a day. Daily! What is interesting here was that the offending individual had to repent before forgiveness was required. This is very similar to what God requires of us, repentance before forgiveness.
In prayer, Jesus’ instructions require more of us. Consider Luke 11:25, And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins. Note there is no repentance required before we are told to forgive. We are simply told when praying if we hold anything (!) against anyone (!) we are to forgive them and there are no qualifications – no ifs, no ands, no buts. Then in the Lord’s prayer Jesus said in Matthew 6:12, 14-15, 12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. 14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Later in Matthew 18, Peter asked Jesus (v21), Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times? Perhaps Peter had forgotten what Jesus had taught earlier or he wasshowing he remembered and knew it was not the cultural limit of three times, but seven. Imagine Peter’s surprise or even shock when Jesus replied, I tell you, not seven times, but seven times seventy times. While repentance is not mentioned here, it may be understood as this seems to link back to what Jesus taught in Luke 17:3-4.
Bottom Line: Want to be forgiven, learn to forgive and forgive and forgive. Forgiving is what we are to do as Christians. For more teaching on these and associated verses go here.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, I am unable to number my sins against You and yet I know I have been forgiven all of them thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and my repentance. Thank You for such mercy. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Calvary Chapel of Dayton