Have you ever wondered when is enough? Or until when do you have to stretch out your patience for some people? Do you think that forgiveness can be given to anyone for free? Have you ever wondered if you pick who to forgive is the right thing to do? Peter was also puzzled and curious about it too!
Peter asked Jesus if until when does someone have to forgive the people who did them wrong. He was very curious that he asked Jesus if how many times he had to forgive someone. He even gave Jesus his suggested number and thought that seven times is already a long chance for someone who sinned against him.
However, Jesus answered Him a concrete answer. Jesus said that he must forgive everyone who sinned against him, seventy-seven times and then told him a parable about the unmerciful servant.
Jesus’ answer was not only for Peter but for all of us. Jesus wants us to remember that we have to forgive our brothers and sisters who sinned against us seventy-seven times or it is what you call, “always”. We must always be ready to forgive anyone who sinned against us. We must remember that it is what Jesus wants.
When He told Peter about the parable, He knew that it would be a great lesson for him and for all of us. The story about the unmerciful servant revolves around a servant who owed his master and his master wants to sell everything he has so he could pay but he begged his master not to. Fortunately, his master took pity on him and cancelled all his debt.
However, as the servant goes out of his master’s house, he sees the person who owes him too. He harassed and had the person thrown into jail because the person cannot pay him. As soon as the news reached his master, the master got so angry with him and threw him into jail because of what he did. His master told him that he should’ve shown mercy on the person who owed him just as he showed mercy on him.
Jesus wants Peter and us to understand how we are very the same as the unmerciful servant. We have received the grace and mercy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ limitless but we don’t show the same mercy to the people who have sinned against us. Instead, we act so mighty and powerful and deny them our forgiveness.
This is also the reason why Jesus told Peter that we must forgive each other seventy-seven times or limitless. Jesus wants us to remember how good He is in our lives and how His mercy and grace ransomed us from the cruelness of death. If God did not move heaven and earth to save us, we would’ve been rotting in hell and suffering the unexplainable pain and unending grief there.
The last verse of this chapter also talks about how we will be treated like the unmerciful servant the moment we deny our neighbors our forgiveness. It might feel so hard and sometimes pride-stepping, but we must remember that forgiving one another is nothing compared to the suffering Christ has to undergo for us. Swallowing our pride and forgiving people who we think don’t deserve our forgiveness is nothing to the hardship Jesus overcame for us.
Think about it, the God who is holy and just; righteous and worthy of all praises; the God who hates sin so much came to this world to grant us the forgiveness we don’t deserve, so it is just very rightful for us to also forgive everyone who sinned against us because we are all sinners.
So, as we reflect on this, let us think of all the people who we denied forgiveness and start forgiving them. We don’t have to communicate with them all the time, we just have to forgive them and not harbor malice and hate against them. We should always remember that we too, are sinners and unworthy of forgiveness, are still forgiven by our Holy and Just God.
May the Holy Spirit bless us with His fruits that can sustain us as we face our day to day endeavor— forgiving one another just as God forgave us. Through forgiving, we will also follow what God has commanded us to do to love our neighbors as ourselves.
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