*Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV) *
“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?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.’”
In this passage, Peter asks Jesus about the extent of forgiveness, wondering how many times he should forgive someone who repeatedly wrongs him. Peter suggests forgiving up to seven times, likely thinking he was being generous. However, Jesus responds by emphasizing the limitless nature of forgiveness, instructing Peter to forgive not just seven times but seventy-seven times (or seventy times seven in some translations).
This passage highlights the importance of forgiveness in the Christian faith. Jesus teaches that forgiveness should be extended without limit, reflecting God’s abundant mercy and grace toward us. It emphasizes the call to let go of resentment, bitterness, and the desire for revenge, and instead cultivate a heart of forgiveness and reconciliation.
By forgiving others, Christians imitate Christ’s sacrificial love and demonstrate the transformative power of God’s forgiveness. It serves as a reminder that we, too, have been forgiven by God, and therefore, we are called to extend that same forgiveness to others.