Friday, September 15, 2017
Reflections- Forgiveness, Grace and Mercy
The passage we read from Matthew last week tells about Jesus advising the disciples on how to get along and deal with conflict. This week, we find Peter asking Jesus about forgiveness. Peter asks Jesus how many times he is to forgive the brother who has sinned against him. Jesus' answer is not seven times - but seventy-seven times. Huh? Jesus then goes on to teach with another parable. This one in the Bible is titled "The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant." It's about a king who forgives the extreme debt of a servant. But the servant then goes out and imprisons someone that owes him a great debt. Double huh?
Read Matthew 18: 21-35
This passage has got me thinking a lot about forgiveness and the concepts of grace and mercy. Grace and mercy are two of those theological words that we so easily toss around without really exploring what they mean or how they work. I am thinking about how grace is this extraordinary gift from God who provides us with everything that we don't really deserve. Mercy, to me, is another extraordinary gift - God not giving us what we truly deserve. Perhaps the servant in the parable hasn't worked out yet what forgiveness, grace, and mercy all have to do with one another.
I know I certainly haven't in many ways.
Forgiveness is hard. Offering others forgiveness, grace, and mercy is very hard. And even more so, sometimes accepting forgiveness, grace and mercy from others is even harder. Despite all the confusion, the one thing I am sure of is that Jesus is teaching us about a God who loves us all - no matter what.