Nov 28 2013
Proverbs 22:7 and Matthew 18:21-35
“Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” asked Peter. “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times,” answered Jesus (Mt 18:21-22)
Peter thought seven times was generous and godly. The number seven was sacred in his culture, and it was usually used to symbolize completion. Surely anyone who forgave seven times had done what God required? But Jesus chose another number – seventy seven. By compounding the sevens Jesus was saying that God’s people should never stop forgiving. His reasoning was simple: If God has forgiven us; we should always forgive each other. He then illustrated his point by telling a story about a servant who owed his master money. The master took pity on him and released him from his debt. But the servant refused to do the same for a fellow servant down the road. When the master heard about it he reinstated the first servant’s debt and threw him in prison. So Jesus concludes that if we do not forgive each other our heavenly master won’t forgive us. We must always keep on forgiving.
Now, this makes a lot of sense with spiritual debt, but what about financial debt? Does it make sense to lend money seventy seven times to someone who promises to repay but never does? More