Matthew 18 21-35: Why Should We Really Forgive Seventy Times Seven?

Explore the central theme of forgiveness in the Bible and learn how it can transform your everyday life. Find inspiration from Jesus' parable and experience the freedom of letting go.

What It Means in the Bible, and What It Means in Your Life

Forgiveness in the Bible is a central theme, illustrating God’s immense mercy and the expectation that His followers extend the same grace to others.

In Matthew 18:21-35, Jesus tells the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant, which begins with Peter asking Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answers, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.”

  • Matthew 18: 21-35: “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants…”

In your everyday life, this passage can be a powerful guide.

For instance:

  • When a friend or family member makes a mistake that affects you, remember the king’s act of forgiveness. Choosing to forgive rather than holding onto anger can release you from the weight of resentment.

  • If someone at work overlooks your contribution, rather than letting bitterness take root, consider the servant who was forgiven much. Extend patience and offer a second chance.

  • Encountering a stranger who’s short-tempered or rude might be your opportunity to practice forgiveness. Reflect on the servant who was shown mercy, and instead of responding with frustration, show kindness.

Forgiveness is not easy; it requires a generous heart and often, great humility.

But by forgiving as you’ve been forgiven, you’re inviting peace into your life and nurturing a spirit that reflects the mercy shown by the king in Jesus’ parable.

Remember, every act of forgiveness ties back to the ultimate example of grace we’ve received, and it draws you closer to the essence of the kingdom of heaven.