Seventy Times Seven
Every day of our lives is filled with bitterness, pains and hurts caused us by others. There’s no moment of our lives that others wouldn’t wrong us. Right from our homes to schools, offices, community and even the nation, offense will come. In our relationships with others, marriages, business transactions with others, etc people might have offended us. And at many times we are at the crossed roads contemplating to forgive our offenders or not to. In our anchor scripture Jesus used a question Peter asked Him about forgiveness to tell a story by likening God’s kingdom to a certain king who forgave his servant who owed him so much money. But this same servant whom the king forgave couldn’t forgive another fellow who owed him just little. And the lessons drawn from this parable is what informs our sermon today.
15 POINTS TO NOTE FROM THE SCRIPTURE
1. This sermon was preached by Jesus Christ but was inspired by Peter. It was Peter who went to Jesus and asked him how often a brother who offends him shall be forgiven. He subsequently asking if such a brother should be forgiven seven times inspired Jesus to preach this sermon of forgiveness.
2. Peter knew that offence in this life is inevitable. From the scripture it is certain that Peter knew something about offence. He knew that no matter what in this life others will offend us. Whether we like it or not offence will always come to us either from our parents, siblings, relatives, friends or people we never even expected they may come from.
3. Peter also knew about forgiveness. Peter knew that when people offend us they also deserve to be pardoned and that motivated him to ask how many times that must be done.
4. However, Peter did not know that we ought to forgive at all times. We are often aware that we ought to forgive others when they wrong us but we do not believe that we’re to do that at all times, and this remains our problem. We’re quick to go to the Lord to ask His forgiveness for the sins we continue to commit but we feel bitter to forgive others even when they wrong us the second time. Sometimes the measure of standard we use for others we cannot even use it on ourselves.
5. Jesus knowing the state of Peter’s heart stated clearly that forgiveness must be done seventy times seven. Why do you think that God must forgive you for the many times you have wrong Him but find it very difficult to forgive others when they also wrong you? Is it not some of hypocrisy on your part? Unforgiveness is like a witchcraft and the same way we do not want to associate with anything like witchcraft we must not have anything to do with unforgiveness too.
6. Seventy times seven means that forgive at all times. Do not be quick to do any calculation and begin to count the number of times you must those who wrong you, it doesn’t hold water. Jesus telling us that we’re to forgive others seventy times seven simply meant to say we must always forgive those who wrong us, even for the same offence over and over again. Forgiveness here has no limit. So condition in your heart to forgive at all times. Harbouring pains and hurts in your heart even medically isn’t good for your health. Unforgiveness breeds high blood pressure, heart attack and unfortunately kills.
7. Seventy times seven also means you don’t decide what to forgive and what not to forgive. You must not have a category of offence you’ll look at to forgive or not to forgive others. You should condition in your heart to forgive every offence committed towards you. What God expects you to forgive is what you think you can’t forgive. That’s the test of your Christianity. The Christianity faith you profess every day is a higher standard of living; it’s not a life of free will to decide what or what not to forgive.
8. Seventy times seven also means you don’t decide when and when not to forgive. Unfortunately, some of us decide to forgive or not to depending on our mood swings. So in a good mood, we can easily forgive those who wrong us and not forgive them when we’re in a bad mood. It doesn’t work that way. God expects that we forgive those who wrong us at all times.
9. Seventy times seven also means that you don’t decide who to forgive and who not to. You do not decide which tribe or people to forgive when they wrong you. You should be able to forgive everybody when they wrong you. Seventy times seven also here means you don’t decide how to forgive. You cannot base your forgiveness on conditions. You cannot perceive yourself as a god to depend some pacifications before others can experience your forgiveness. Such doesn’t portray true forgiveness. You cannot never be offended beyond your sinful state before Christ saved you. In other words no matter the offence people will bring your way, such can never be compared to how you were before you came to Christ. So why find it difficult to forgive others?
10. Your sinful state before Christ can be likened to 10,000 talents. A talent in our time, as of 2016, is equal to 1.25 million dollars, so this multiplied by 10,000 is how worth a sin is before Christ. What simply means is that we cannot pay for our sins if God should demand payment before He forgives us.
11. Any sin or offense anybody can ever offend you can be likened to 100 pence. A 100 pence still remains a peanut even in the eyes of men, and that’s how worth the offence others commit against us. So if Christ forgives us sins that are worth several trillions why then do we find it very difficult to forgive those whose offense against us are peanuts?
12. Christ cancelled all your debts when you came to Him begging for forgiveness. Jesus paid the debts you could not ever pay.
13. If Christ can cancel your debts of 10,000 talents then you can also forgive others who owe you 100 pence.
14. Those who fail to forgive others in their hearts will be tortured in eternity. An unforgiving heart negates the powerful works of Jesus on the cross. It can make the potent blood of Jesus impotent.
15. Learn to forgive those who offend you. Your eternal life is linked to what you have in your heart.
In conclusion, anytime you find it difficult to forgive those who offend you know that your eternity is at risk. God doesn’t want greedy people in heaven. Those who understand and value eternity they easily forgive others when they wrong them.
Gracious Father, I thank You this day for the numerous times You have forgiven me my sins. I thank You for the finished works of Your son Jesus on the cross. I pray to ask that You condition my heart to easily those who offend me just as You also forgive me. Heal me of every bitterness, pains and hurts caused me by others, in Jesus Christ name. Amen.