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  • Writer's pictureSt. John's Lutheran

Forgive...and Forgive...and Forgive..

Matthew 18:21-22 New International Version (NIV)

The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[a] Wed. August 12 - Matthew 18:21-22 Jewish rabbis living in Israel 2000 years ago taught that forgiving someone three times was enough. Kind of like a “three strikes and you’re out” kind of thing. Forgiving any more than that was thought to encourage license to just keep on doing what they had done the first three times. When Peter asked Jesus about this

he must have thought he was being extremely kind and merciful by suggesting that

he forgive an offender ​seven​ times! Jesus blows him out of the water by saying that

he has missed the point completely. Instead of forgiving someone 1, 3, or 7 times

we should forgive someone 70x7 (=490) times. Some translations say 77 times. The

exact number is not important. Jesus is merely highlighting that we need to stop

counting and just forgive over and over and over again. Or more simply put… ​stop

keeping score! ​ God is not keeping score so neither should you! Just knock it off. Life

is not a game. There is no accountant. Go and set people free by forgiving them!

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