READ : Matthew 18:21-35
English poet Alexander Pope said it well when he wrote these words, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” In fact, many people think that forgiveness is such a divine entity that they feel it is beyond their capacity. Others are less philosophical. So enraged by whatever has been done to them, they spew forth line after line of profanities.
Jesus and Peter once had an interesting conversation on this subject. Like many people today, Peter felt there were limits to forgiveness. To him, forgiving seven times was being more than generous. But Jesus comes back with the response, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.” 490 times! That’s a lot! In fact, what Jesus means by that is that we always are to forgive no matter what!
Yet, in our society, we tend to think some crimes are just beyond forgiveness. Things like murder or adultery are so hurtful that we are inclined to say, “Enough is enough. I’ll never forgive you for this!”
Still, our Lord makes no exceptions. Further, He practiced what He preached! Even on the cross Jesus forgave His executioners.
Forgiveness is not easy. Nor is it natural. It is divine. But when the ever-forgiving Christ takes residence in our hearts, it is possible for us.
Lord Jesus, fill us with Your love so that the divine gift of forgiveness might be evidenced in our lives—always. Amen.