Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seven times seventy.”

Matthew 18: 22


Peter is engaging Jesus in a discussion about forgiveness. Peter is expressing what he thinks will be viewed as totally over the top in terms of what might be expected. However, Jesus tells him and us how God views the same subject. The Lord says that forgiveness is not something that we can place limits on. It is a commodity that comes out of the dept of God’s love, grace, and mercy. The ability to forgive is a part of what sets God’s people apart from the rest of our world.


We have been forgiven, we are being forgiven, and we will be forgiven, too. Christ did it all; so, there is nothing else that we need to do in order to enter into the sort of relationship with God that is not impacted and impaired by the hard-edged friction of unresolved hurt and pain. If this great reconciliation is possible with God who is holy and righteous, it certainly should be possible with our fellow sin infected earthly travelers. Yet we do let wrongs, slights, and hurts of all sorts separate us and even drive us into isolation.


Forgiving others is not easy; yet, it is possible. Entering into forgiveness can bring us into the sort of rest and peace that is found only in Christ. When we hold onto the wrongs and the hurt that others have inflicted on us we are allowing that past event the opportunity to continue to wound us again and again. As we turn to Christ and turn our pain over to Him, we are entering into the realm of the supernatural. True forgiveness is not a characteristic of this world. It is irrational in the world’s view of the way that people should live. But Christ tells us that we should live irrationally. We should desire to be people who change our world by bringing Christ into it. Radically forgiving without limits is a very powerful way to do this.