Forgiveness is not natural to man.
Because it is so foreign to fleshly human nature, people find it very difficult to forgive others.
King Louis XII of France articulated the feeling of many people when he said, “Nothing smells so sweet as the dead body of your enemy.”
Yet nothing so characterizes the new nature of Christians as forgiveness, because nothing so characterizes the nature of their Lord.
Jesus’ most striking and humanly incomprehensible words from the cross were, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
Forgiveness reflects the highest human virtue, because it So clearly reflects the character of God.
A person who forgives is a person who emulates godly character.
Nothing So much demonstrates God’s love as His forgiveness.
A person who does not forgive is therefore a person lacking in godly character and without Christlike love, no matter how orthodox his theology or how outwardly impeccable his morals appear to be.
In this closing part of His teaching about believers as children (Matt.
18), Jesus gives a powerful and sobering declaration of the need for believers to be forgiving.
Just as a person enters and is considered great in the kingdom only by becoming like a little child (vv.
3-4) and, once in the kingdom, is to be protected like a little child (vv.
5-9), cared for like a little child (vv.
10-14), and disciplined like a little child (vv.
15-20), So also, Jesus now says, must he be forgiven like a little child.
The Problem (18:21-22)
Peter’s question (18:21)
Peter understood the point of Jesus’ teaching in 18:15-20.
Peter’s proposal was more than twice as much as the rabbis taught.
Jesus’ response (18:22)
Jesus takes two perfect number, ten and seven multiplies them together, and then multiplies the result by seven.
Jesus point was that our forgiveness was to reflect God’s forgiveness that knows no boundaries.
Law keeps count; grace does not.
The Parable (18:23-34)