Matthew 18:21, 22 - The Correct Number Of Times To Forgive (part 1).

Matthew 18:21, 22 - The Correct Number Of Times To Forgive (part 

Matthew 18:21, 22 (NIV)  Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, 
"Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against 
me? Up to seven times?"  Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven 
times, but seventy-seven times.   

Matthew 18:21, 22 (CWR)  Then Peter asked Jesus, "How many times 
should I forgive my brother? Is seven times enough?  Jesus said, 
"Peter, it is not a question of how many times, but a question of your 
own attitude. If your attitude is right, you'll forgive him seventy 
times seven because you love him. 

Seventy-seven times: Times without number.  [NIV SB]

Jesus prescribes limitless readiness to forgive from the heart 
(18:35; cp. Gen 4:23-24). [NLT SB]  

The rabbis taught that Jews should forgive those who offend them 
three times.  Peter, in trying to be especially generous, asked Jesus 
if seven (the "perfect" number) was enough times to forgive 
someone.  But Jesus answered, "Seventy times seven," meaning that we 
shouldn't even keep track of how many times we forgive someone.  We should 
always forgive those who are truly repentant, no matter how many time 
they ask.  [Life Application SB] 

The number itself is not important, being only symbolic. Either 
number is in harmony with the truth here taught, that forgiveness is 
not a matter of mathematics or legal regulations, but an attitude. 
He who harbors within himself the idea that at some future time he 
will not forgive, is far from extending true forgiveness even though 
he may go through the form of forgiving. If the spirit of 
forgiveness actuates the heart, a person will be as ready to forgive a 
repentant soul the eighth time as the first time, or the 491st time as the 
eighth. True forgiveness is not limited by numbers; furthermore, it is 
not the act that counts, but the spirit that prompts the act. 
"Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit". [SDA Bible Commentary] 

Peter wanted a rule to obey, which shows he was not in the 
spirit of what Jesus taught (Rom. 12:8-10). The parable is not about 
salvation but about forgiveness among God's people. We are to forgive 
others because God has forgiven us (Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13), and He has 
forgiven us at great cost to Himself! It is possible to receive 
forgiveness but not truly experience forgiveness in our hearts; therefore, 
we have a hard time sharing forgiveness with others. When you have 
an unforgiving spirit, you put yourself in prison spiritually and 
emotionally; you pay dearly for the luxury of carrying a grudge. Is it worth 
it? [Chapter by Chapter Bible Commentary by Warren Wiersbe re vv. 

Jesus puts no limits on forgiveness, not even the generous 
boundaries that Peter implies. No one can ever say, "I've forgiven enough; 
now it's time to hold a grudge." If you refuse to work toward 
forgiveness, you develop handicapped emotions. You'll stunt your growth with 
grudges, no matter how important they seem to you. Make a list of your 
top five hurts. Who must be forgiven to relieve these burdens? How 
can forgiveness be initiated? Who might help? Participate in 
Communion next time with a heart free from grudges, your own forgiveness 
reflecting the greater forgiveness of God toward you. [Life Application 

One of the greatest barriers to Christian maturity is knowing 
what to do with forgiveness. Jesus' use of exaggeration makes the 
point that one forgives and forgives. There is no limit. How long does 
it take until you have worked through forgiveness? Until you can 
want the well-being of the other who has trespassed against you. The 
import of Jesus' teaching here is that our lack of willingness to 
forgive our neighbor acts as a barrier to accepting God's forgiveness of 
our own sin. [Disciple SB] 

To forgive a person "seven times," and no more, would be a 
mechanical sort of forgiveness.... Forgiveness, on the part either of God or 
of man, is much more than a judicial act; it is a restoration of 
peace where there had been conflict (see Rom. 5:1). But forgiveness is 
even more than that--it includes the effort to restore the erring 
brother himself. [SDA Bible Commentary] 

The contrast between our debt to God and the debts others may 
owe us is immeasurable.  And when God has forgiven us the debt we 
owe Him, how can we be unforgiving to others who owe us so little in 
comparison?  [David Augsburger; Time with God devotional SB] 

He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself 
must pass. George Herbert