The Power of Forgiveness

How good are you at forgiving others their offenses against you? 

How good are you at forgiving yourself for past mistakes or sins?

Jesus’ parable about forgiveness is one of the most essential Bible stories for our time. Peter asked his Savior, “How often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” (Matthew 18:21). The same goes for: “How often shall my sister sin against me, and I forgive her? Up to seven times?” (ibid)

You might think Peter was a bit stingy with his mercy. Forgive someone only seven times? We often have to forgive our spouses or fiends and colleagues that much in a single week! But in the time of Christ, religious leaders taught that God was willing to forgive you only three times. It was “three strikes and you’re out”—long before baseball was invented.

Have you limited your forgiveness to only three strikes before? 

Peter, knowing Jesus was indeed merciful, bravely doubled the number of times he had been taught to forgive someone and even added one for good measure. But Christ’s response shocked not only His disciple, but—tragically—shocks most professed Christians today. “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (verse 22, emphasis added).

As you can see, there is more to this story. 

There is more to the number “seven”, and “seventy times seven.”

We hope you enjoy this sermon series on “The Power of Forgiveness.”


Rev. Jean Atta