Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Matthew 18:21-22
Peter asked Jesus how many times should we forgive someone and Jesus gave him a shocking answer. Jesus basically was saying we should forgive each other forever just as God has forgiven us. But why did Jesus use an equation to demonstrate this? To understand this, we need to understand the old Jewish law of forgiveness.
(Amos 1:3) “This is what the LORD says: “For three sins of Damascus, even for four, I will not relent. Because she threshed Gilead with sledges having iron teeth,”
Jewish rabbis interpret this scripture to mean we should only forgive 3 times, this is why Peter asked Jesus this question. What is more interesting is Peter understood the symbolism of the number 7, which symbolizes perfection, and used that number instead of 3.
So when Jesus answers seventy times seven he is referencing 70 (completeness) times 7 (perfection) meaning we should always forgive.
(Luke 17:3-4) “So watch yourselves. “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.”
Jesus teachings in Luke reinforce what he was teaching 70 X 7 times, if someone ask for forgiveness, you must forgive them. Forgiveness seems like an impossible thing to do sometimes, but you are actually empowering yourself by forgiving others.
Sin is control, when people do you wrong, there trying to control you. Forgive them and they can’t control you. No matter what is done to you, it can’t overcome you.
(Matthew 6:14) “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”
Most importantly forgive and you shall be forgiven by God. You can’t expect to be forgiven if you’re not willing to forgive others . When you refuse to forgive, you’re controlling that person which is sinful.
Let go and let God take over. Forgive and you shall be forgiven. 70 X 7 times in Jesus name Amen