Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.”
─ Matthew 18:21-22
Religious teachers of Jesus day taught that we should forgive, but only three times. Peter, always full of questions, asked Jesus if we should forgive others seven times. Seven was believed to be the perfect number and Peter probably felt his suggestion was more than what Jesus expected.
Imagine Peter’s surprise when Jesus said the number wasn’t seven, but 77. Jesus’ extravagant number meant we should not keep track of how many times we’ve forgiven someone, but instead we are to forgive as many times as they ask.
Many times, Jesus told those who came to Him that their sins were forgiven: the woman caught in adultery, the paralyzed man whose friends lowered him down through a roof, Peter for denying Him and the criminal who hung beside Him on the cross.
Jesus provided us with many examples in His own life of where He forgave others, from times in His early ministry when He forgave the sins of others, to asking the Heavenly Father to forgive the very ones who crucified Him.
Today’s One Thing
Jesus gave His life so that you could receive forgiveness and be reconciled with your Heavenly Father. Will you accept His forgiveness today?