Seventy Time Seven

18th November

Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy time seven!

Matthew 18:21-22

In Matthew chapter 18, Peter approaches Jesus and asks Him how many times he should forgive someone who has wronged him. Peter seeming generous, gives a figure of seven times. Yet what was to happen the eighth time someone wronged him? Did his grace run out? Jesus’ reply did not specifically mean that we should only forgive someone 490 times, but rather it was a principle that just as much as we are forgiven, so we should forgive others with that same forgiveness. In other words, God’s grace and forgiveness, as David rightly said in his psalms, flow from the east to the west and from the heavens to earth; such is the measure of God’s grace, love and forgiveness – UNLIMITED.

Jesus then proceeds to tell a parable about a man imprisoned by his debt, shown grace by his debtor, released from his debt, then that same man, imprisoning his own servant for a lesser debt owed to him. The morale of the story is, that we should show the same forgiveness to others as we have received ourselves.

Indeed our sins have been greatly forgiven. God daily washes our sins clean if we ask for His forgiveness. His grace never runs and is not limited to a finite number. It is infinite. As one writer eloquently writes..

We must always keep in mind that there is no place we can go that God’s grace   cannot reach, and there is no depth to which we can sink that God is no longer able to pull us out. His grace is greater than all of our sin. Whether we are just starting to wander off course or we are already sinking and drowning in our sin, grace can be received.1

God is good. If you have sinned and don’t feel worthy of God’s grace today, then think again. You are, because of Jesus. Just reach out to Him, let Him heal your wounds, fill you with grace and restore you once more. Then with the forgiveness you have received, forgive others too.

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