Matthew 18: 15-22
Peter, in today’s passage, was the one who experienced what forgiveness means.
When Peter asked Jesus about “how often he should forgive others,” perhaps, he did not realize that he would have become a recipient of unconditional forgiveness.
In the Bible, the number seven is known as the number of perfection and completeness from the seven days of the creation-story in the book of Genesis to the many “sevens” in the book of Revelation.
Thus, when Jesus said the number seventy-seven, probably, he meant that forgiving others should match our perception of perfection which should be unconditional and unending.
Jesus’s forgiveness transformed Peter from a betrayer to one of the best saints in the history of Christianity.
However, the world in which we live in seems different. Some people seem to enjoy spinning their wheels blaming someone.
Anger seems so exciting, and it has become resentment and bitterness. Sadly, one of the great benefits of having an enemy is that we get to look good by comparison. It also helps to have someone to blame for why our life is not turning out the way it was supposed to. Perhaps, none of us may know how to act anymore when we allow our enemy to stop being our enemy stopped.
What we are reminded of in the stories of the Bible is that forgiveness is an act of transformation. When our anger goes on and on without learning or changing, then, it is not plain anger anymore.
We all know there is some loss in forgiveness, but it is the loss of an illusion. And it changes people and gains real truth about who we are and what we should do.
What Jesus meant was that forgiveness is not a matter of choice but it should be the way of life for Christians.
It is an act of transformation. It is how we discover our true identity as the one who is forgiven. Because we have been forgiven ourselves, God wants us to do unto others as God has done unto us.
I am forgiven. Y’all are forgiven.
They are forgiven. And we are forgiven.