What Jesus Did! 'Heaven's 7' — Matthew 18:21

Monday, August 28, 2017

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, when my brother won't stop doing wrong to me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times?"
— Matthew 18:21
Illustration of Matthew 18:21 — Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, when my brother won't stop doing wrong to me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as seven times?"

Key Thought

Like so many of us do, Peter wants to know the limits of the Lord's demand for radical forgiveness. While by human standards Peter's "7 times" principle is quite generous, in Jesus' Kingdom, to even ask for a limit to forgiveness is to reveal that his mind is still dominated by worldly thinking. Heavenly thinking means going to a cross and forgiving your crucifixion executioners! Jesus takes the heavenly number of 7 and multiplies it exponentially to stress that we are to forgive as we have been forgiven and want to be forgiven. In the Father's Kingdom family, the children must forgive like the Father!

Today's Prayer

Lord God, soften my heart and give me a more forgiving spirit. I don't want to be miserly with grace or vindictive in judgment with those who need my forgiveness. You have so graciously blessed me in Jesus; I want to reflect that grace in my relationship with others. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Jesus said to his followers, "Things will surely happen that will make people sin. But it will be very bad for the person that makes this happen. It will be very bad for a person if he makes one of these weak persons sin. It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the sea. So be careful! "If your brother sins, tell him he is wrong. If he is sorry {and stops sinning}, forgive him. If your brother does something wrong to you seven times in one day, but he says that he is sorry each time, then you should forgive him."

Luke 17:1-4

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.