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Peter asked Jesus, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him?  until 7 times?"

Matthew 18:21

. . . learning from the men, women and children of Bible times
            Forgiveness,  70 x 7                                                                This is a true story!
    Peter asked Jesus how many times we should forgive our brother and Peter suggested the number 7.

    But Jesus said that we should forgive, not 7 times, but 70 times 7. His point was that we should always always always forgive our brother.

Jesus told many parables to help us understand the 'kingdom of heaven'.  He told this one to help us understand 'forgiveness' in the church.

Oh, I love a good story!
A certain king was taking account of his servants. He called in one servant who owed him over
               15 million dollars!
                                   The servant couldn't pay..... so the king was going to sell the servant and the servant's family in payment of the debt.

     The servant fell down and asked the king to
                           PLEASE!!! give him more time to pay.

     The king was moved with compassion and said, "I'll tell you what! I'll just forgive the whole debt! You don't owe me anything now!"

     So that servant left  (happy and free) and went and found someone that owed him just $15.

     He took him by the throat and told him that he must pay him now. When that person couldn't pay his debt, the first servant had him thrown in prison.

     Some people went and told the king what that servant had done. Then the king brought the first servant back in to him and said,
               "You wicked servant!  I showed you compassion and
      forgave you everything
because you asked me to!"

          "Shouldn't you have had pity for your servant and forgiven him what little he owed you?

Then the king put that servant in jail until he could repay the king all that was owed him.

Then Jesus said, "This is how my heavenly  father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart." 

Now -- if you know that 70 times 7 = 490, then you should do pretty good on this

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The king's servant
strangling his debtor!

What is forgiveness?  How can you know when you have forgiven someone?

Maybe if you can feel and act toward that person as if he had not done anything wrong, then that is probably forgiveness from the heart.

This is a parable that we need to read again and again and meditate on often.

(the Jews taught that a man only forgave someone up to 3 times -
so Peter's number 7 sounded pretty generous)

Jesus taught about forgiveness in the Sermon on the Mount

In Matthew 6:13-14, Jesus says "Forgive people when they sin against you.  If you do your heavenly Father will forgive you.  But if you do not forgive people their sins, your heavenly father will not forgive your sins."

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