What Jesus Did! 'Redeeming Relationships from Sin' — Luke 17:3-4

Monday, October 2, 2023

[After warning about not causing others to sin, Jesus continued,] "So watch yourselves!

"If another believer sins, rebuke that person; then if there is repentance, forgive. Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive."

— Luke 17:3-4 NLT

Key Thought

In today's polite and politically correct society, it is considered rude to step in and confront someone about his or her unethical or improper behavior or sin. Hurting someone's feelings or impinging on his or her right of free expression is of more concern to some people than preventing evil acts, unethical practices, and sinful rebellion. How sad! How wrong of us as Christians. We are called to a different standard in God's Kingdom family. We take sin seriously so we "carefront" — confront with loving care — a fellow Christian who sins but doesn't repent. We don't "carefront" to punish or berate but to help the person turn from sinful ways and return to God's flock. If we take sin seriously, we also must take forgiveness seriously! Dispensing forgiveness was a key reason Jesus came to earth. As Jesus' presence in the world now, our job is to practice radical forgiveness. [1] And facilitating forgiveness and reconciliation, whether we are the offender or the offended, is always our responsibility!

[1] In biblical times, the number seven in today's verses frequently was not literal but rather symbolic, signifying fullness, completeness, or perfection. Matthew 18:21-22 records a similar teaching of Jesus where he compounded the significance of the number seven and emphasized the need for limitless forgiveness by saying to forgive "seventy times seven" times.

Today's Prayer

Father, help me take my sin, as well as the sin that has entrapped my Christian friends, seriously. Don't let me try to tone down others who want to call your people away from their sin and rebellion. Please give me a heart of compassion and words that serve, bless, and strengthen others. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Matthew 18:15-17
  • 2 Corinthians 2:5-8
  • James 5:16


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Illustration of Luke 17:3-4 NLT — "So watch yourselves!


About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.