Sunday 2 September, 2012
17 Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. 2 It would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around your neck than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble. 3 So watch yourselves. “If a brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them. 4 Even if they sin against you seven times in a day and seven times come back to you saying ‘I repent,’ you must forgive them.” 5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. 7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”
Forgiveness is a powerful thing.
The context of another believer sinning is brought into focus by Jesus here. There are some clear instructions given:
1. Rebuke the sinner – that is to bring to the attention of the person that they have sinned. We should not expect the person to know they have sinned and in the case of our brothers or sisters we should love them enough to say something.
2. The sinner should re
pent as a result of them being made aware of their sin.
3. On the basis of this repentance we are to forgive, even if they sin again, we are to forgive on the basis of them repenting. If there is not repentance there seems, at least here, to be no obligation of forgiveness. However, the Scripture is plain; if there is repentance then there MUST be forgiveness.
Written by Ps. Richard Botta
[comments section is closed]