The Lord’s Prayer
And forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who is a debtor to us. —Luke 11:4
From your heart forgive your brother’s trespasses.
Matthew 18:21-35. Then Peter coming to Him said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times? Jesus says to him, I do not say to thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven.
Therefore, the kingdom of the heavens is likened to a man, a king, who willed to take account with his servants. And when he had begun to take it, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. But he not having anything to pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and it be paid.
Then the servant falling down worshiped him, saying, Lord, bear long with me, and I will pay thee all. And the lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him and forgave him the debt.
But that servant, going out, found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred denarii, and taking hold of him choked him, saying, Pay me what thou owest! Then his fellow-servant, falling at his feet, implored him, saying, Bear long with me, and I will pay thee all. And he was not willing, but going away, cast him into prison until he should pay what was owed.
But his fellow-servants, seeing what was done, sorrowed greatly; and coming, they gave their lord to understand all things that were done. Then his lord, calling him, says to him, Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou didst implore me. Oughtest thou not also to have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee? And his lord, being angry, delivered him up to the tormentors until he should pay all that was owed to him. So also My heavenly Father will do to you, unless each of you from your hearts forgive his brother their trespasses.
TCR 409. ...The Lord taught in Matthew that good ought to be done from charity to the adversary and the enemy:
You have heard that it has been declared to them of old time, Thou shalt love thy neighbor2, and shalt hate thine enemy. But I say to you, Love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do well to them who hate you, and pray for those who injure you and persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in the heavens.... (Matt. 5:43-45).
And when Peter asked Him how often he should forgive one sinning against him, whether he should do so until seven times, He replied:
I do not say to thee, until seven times, but until seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21, 22).
And I have heard from heaven that the Lord forgives to everyone his sins, and never takes vengeance nor even imputes sin, because He is love itself and good itself; nevertheless, sins are not thereby washed away, for this can be done only by repentance. For when He told Peter to forgive until seventy times seven, what won’t the Lord do?
Matthew 18:15-17. And if thy brother sin against thee, go thy way and reprove him between thee and him alone; if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. And if he will not hear, take with thee yet one or two, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every saying may be established. And if he neglects to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he also neglects to hear the church, let him be to thee just as a gentile and a publican.
Questions and Comments
- In the Lord’s parable about the king and the two servants, can we picture each of these voices within ourselves?
- Can the Lord’s teaching about loving our enemies, blessing them, doing well to them and praying for them be practiced literally in a marriage or a friendship where issues have arisen?
- Does the Lord’s teaching in Matthew 18 have practical application today? How would we “tell it to the church” in with the hope of gaining our brother? What does it mean, that if he neglects to hear the church, let him be to thee as a gentile and a publican?