“70 Times 7” When You’re Angry

“70 Times 7” When You’re Angry

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In the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus says that church members should forgive each other “seventy times seven times” a number that symbolizes boundlessness. However, even though He preaches boundless forgiveness He does not indicate whether that forgiveness has conditions. Matthew 18:21-22 declares, 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 times seven.” Peter was being generous here, for the traditional Rabbinic teaching was that an offended person needed to forgive a brother only three times. Jesus’ reply was that forgiveness needs to be exercised to a much greater extent. Not just 7 times, but “70 times 7”, that is, 490 times. Jesus meant that no limits should be set. Then to complete the idea, He told a parable.

Jesus told about a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. One  servant owed a large amount, 10,000 talents. This probably equaled several million dollars, for a talent was probably a measure of gold, between 58 and 80 pounds. When he could not pay the master ordered that the servant and his wife, children, and possessions be sold so he could repay as much of the debt as possible. The servant pleaded with his
master, begging for time to repay his master. The master took pity on the servant, canceled the debt, and set him free.

But shortly thereafter this servant went out and found another servant who owed him a much smaller amount, 100 denarii. A denarius was a Roman silver coin, worth about 16 cents; it represented a laborer’s daily wages. The first servant demanded payment and refused to show mercy toward his debtor. In fact he had the second servant thrown into prison until he paid the debt. The other servants, aware of all that had happened were greatly distressed or grieved by this turn of events and told their master what had transpired. The master called back the first servant and jailed him for failing to show mercy to a fellow servant when he had been forgiven a much greater debt.

So what was the Lord regarding forgiveness? The Lord was teaching that forgiveness ought to be in direct proportion to the amount forgiven. The first servant had been forgiven all, and he in turn should have forgiven all. A child of God has had all his sins forgiven by faith in Jesus Christ. Therefore when someone sins against him, he ought to be willing to forgive from the heart no matter how many times the act occurs. The Bible declares in Ephesians 4:32 “Be kind to one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”
God Bless You All!