Mt18 21-35 - Forgiveness

Matt. 18:21-35 - ForgivenessforgivenessRabbinical tradition is looking for some numerical limit to place on our responsibility towards one another. It’s perfectly human to look for some measure of how much is expected from us so that we will know when we’ve “done the right thing.” So, Peter asks how many times we should forgive someone when we’ve been wronged. While Jesus gives a numerical answer of sorts, the true measure of forgiveness is what our Heavenly Father has given to each of us and that alone puts the whole question on a different scale. It pretty much makes it impossible for someone to approach the question of forgiveness in the same way. The expectation of forgiveness no longer comes from our own capacity to forgive, or our own “graciousness” but from the One who continually forgives and loves us. I forgive because I am forgiven. It’s a very different place because the one forgiven cannot be beholden to the one forgiving because we are all beholden to the One who has forgiven us all. In a sense, we’re just passing along the gift of forgiveness and love that He has given to us. JBB May 31, 2005