Tuesday, May 15: How many times shall I forgive?
We return to our occasional reading from beginning to end through the Gospel of Matthew, which emphasizes Jesus' divine nature and his status as the Messiah—as the Son of David, the Son of Man, and the Son of God.
Read Matthew 18:21-27
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.
"Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.
"At this the servant fell on his knees before him. 'Be patient with me,' he begged, 'and I will pay back everything.' The servant's master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go."
Peter's question may very well be one you've had yourself. Just how often do we have to forgive someone who keeps on doing the wrong thing or keeps on hurting us? Even when it's not what we want to hear, Jesus' answer is quite simple: every time. The key is never to forget how completely and repeatedly God has forgiven us.
Father, forgiveness is hard, especially when we find ourselves having to do it again and again. Please help us remember the way you've forgiven our sins, and give us what we need to offer genuine forgiveness to others. Amen.