The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

10/10/2008

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More About Forgiveness

"This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart" (Matt.18:35).

After I wrote some of the quotes about forgiveness, did you think of any that you use or have heard. I got feedback with one such quote..."I can forgive, But I never can forget".I will not fess-up to where that came from..

To reinforce the importance of forgiveness, Jesus told a parable recorded in verses 22-34. It is a parable of perplexing proportions. To put it in condensed form, a man is forgiven a debt of 10,000 talents by his master. He turns around and throws a man in prison for failure to pay a debt of 100 denari. We must break down the "perplexing proportions" to see how serious Jesus is about forgiveness.

100 denari is the amount of money one could easily put in their pocket. It is the amount you might take to the mall, to go out bowling , or to dinner and a movie. A decent amount, but certainly not a great amount. 10,000 talents on the other hand.....WOW!!! The Romans created a province that included the areas of Judea, Samaria, and Idmudea. ---basically three nations. the governmental records of that day shows an annual budget of 600 talents for the ENTIRE REGION! To put it in straight terms, the man owed more than the entire region earned in ten years.

In the New Testament, there are three words used for forgiveness. "Charizomai', means to be gracious. It refers to an attitude of forgiveness that is kind and cheerful.

"Aphiemi" is the word used by Jesus when he healed the paralytic in Matt. 9:2. ("Your sins are forgiven".) This word really upset the religious leaders of the day. It is an act reserved for God. In other words, I can forgive someone for an act they commit, but only God can remove it. "Aphesis" is the most powerful of the three words, because it relates to costly forgiveness. This word tells of the price paid by Christ on the cross.

I think that the combination of these three words and the parable tell us how serious God is about forgiveness. God wants us to be a forgiving people. "This is how the heavenly Father will treat you if you unless you forgive your brother from your heart". We are able to take on a Christ-like trait when we forgive, and after all, isn't the goal of our live to become more Christ-like?

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