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(08-09-14) Forgiveness - Genesis 50.15-21; Romans 14.1-12; Matthew 18.21-35

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Forgiving – Genesis 50:15-21; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35

·      Mum telling Naomi stories from my childhood

o  “I wanted to say ‘Go’!

§  stropped for days

§  didn’t talk to that person

o  first thought in my mind was a childish moment

§  playground squabbles

§  but unforgiveness is just as much an adult trait

·      holding grudges for years

·      Peter’s suggestion of 7 may not have been a bad answer (v21)

·      Efallai, nad oedd syniad Pedr yn un wael

o  often used for an indefinite number

o  but Jesus won’t let there be any confusion (v22)

§  infinity times infinity!

·      Of course this is Jesus’ attitude to forgiveness

o  it is this forgiveness which we have been offered; and those of us who trust in Jesus have received it

§  ‘Jesus came to rub it out, not rub it in’

§  daeth Iesu i’w rhwbio allan, nid rhwbio i mewn

o  like the first man who pleads for mercy from the king (v26)

§  ten thousand talents would have been far beyond his ability to repay

§  we too could not repay our debt

·      being good, going to church, giving money to the poor...

§  he, and we, throw ourselves on the king’s mercy

·      and receive lavish, measureless forgiveness (v27)

·      Then comes the challenge / Wedyn daw’r her

o  how then should we behave towards those who wrong us?

o  we love being forgiven / dy ni’n caru derbyn maddeuant

§  do we love being forgivers?

§  ond dy ni’n caru fod yn maddeuwyr?

“Forgiveness is a special kind of gift. When we give, we seek the good of another, not our own good... The same is true of forgiveness. We forgive for another’s sake... But there is also an important difference between giving and forgiving. We give when we delight in others or others are in need; by giving, we enhance their joy or make up for their lack. We forgive when others have wronged us; by forgiving, we release them from the burden of their wrongdoing. The difference lies in the violation suffered, in the burden of wrongdoing, offence, transgression, debt. And that’s what makes it more difficult to forgive than to give.”

Miroslav Volf – Free of Charge: Giving and Forgiving in a World Stripped of Grace

·      Forgiving is very difficult

o  ‘The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong’ – Ghandi

·      It requires completely letting go

o  jumper analogy

·      Still counting how many times you’ve forgiven someone...?

o  you’ve not really forgiven them

§  “In the Bible it says they asked Jesus how many times you should forgive, and he said 70 times 7. Well, I want you all to know that I'm keeping a chart.” – Hillary Clinton

·      Something we can all relate to

·      Mae hyn yn rhwbeth gallwn ni i gyd deall

o  which makes Jesus’ words all the more concerning (vv34-5)

§  doesn’t God’s forgiveness stretch to our unforgiveness?

·      elsewhere in NT

§  nothing to do with numbers

§  attitude of our hearts

§  we can’t receive forgiveness if we aren’t forgiving

§  dy ni ddim yn gallu derbyn maddeuant os dy ni ddim yn maddeuol

·      to keep breathing in forgiveness we need to keep breathing it out

·      If we don’t forgive others, Jesus says, God won’t forgive us; but having been forgiven, forgiveness should come naturally to us

o  “... her many sins have been forgiven – for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little loves little.” (Luke 7:47)

·      Matthew 6:14-15 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

·      James 2:12-12 Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, 13because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment!

·      Mark 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your sins.

·      Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

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