July 17, 2010

Limitless grace

Filed under: Uncategorized — andykiff @ 7:15 am

Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came up and said to him, Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.

Peter asked a perfectly reasonable question.  He agreed that forgiveness was a good idea but wondered at what point it became clear the person was never going to change and stop sinning.  To him, seven seemed quite reasonable – forgiving someone seven times seems like giving them plenty of chances to mend their ways.  Jesus’ response was astounding.  Even if I read the words literally he said to forgive someone 490 times but it’s widely understood that this was a way of communicating an infinite number.

This seems a travesty of justice.  I should forgive someone who wrongs me at least 490 times?  They don’t deserve that as they have clearly shown they’ll never change, no matter how sorry they seem at the time.  I’d dismiss this command as completely ridiculous if I didn’t look at it from the other side.  How many times have You forgiven me?  How many times have I come to You in repentance then done the same thing over and over again?  I am so thankful that You place no limits on grace and mercy, never treating me as I deserve.  Help me to model this in the world.


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