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Summary: In the land of cyberspace, the delete key is a wonderful tool – type anything you desire and if you do not like it – simply press delete and the text is gone. There is no record of the document anywhere.Wouldn’t it be great if all of life had a delete key

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Introduction: In the land of cyberspace, the delete key is a wonderful tool – type anything you desire and if you do not like it – simply press delete and the text is gone. There is no record of the document anywhere.

Wouldn’t it be great if all of life had a delete key?

• Start off with a bad day of work – Delete – it is gone

• Lose your temper with your children – Delete – all is forgotten

• Say an inappropriate remark to your spouse – delete – removed from their memory

• Use bad judgment in a business deal – Delete and gone are the consequences

On the computer, it is so easy – a simple keystroke and all is forgotten. That is not so when it comes to real life is it not.

When we hear something or see something are minds are like steel traps storing it in our memory bank. Nothing is imprinted in our memory bank any stronger then when someone offends us. When someone has done us wrong, we tend to hold on to it tightly. The grip of ungrace has sobering consequences.

That is why Jesus wanted his followers to understand the need to forgive and release one another from offenses.

Forgiveness is seldom easy; it is one of the most difficult things to accomplish in the universe.

Horace Burnell – Forgiveness is man’s deepest need and highest achievement.

Gandhi – The weak can never forgive, forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.

Not only is forgiveness the attribute of the strong – it is also a requirement for God’s people. We are called to be forgiving people.

Colossians 3:13, Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Matthew 6:14-15, For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Ephesians 4:32, Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

To underscore the need for Forgiveness Jesus shared a parable with his disciples in Matthew 18

Before study the parable, we must understand the context of the parable – why Jesus said what he said.

In Matthew 18 Jesus has been teaching on how to handle an erring brother. We refer to this teaching has church discipline Jesus is teaching, there are a certain number of steps one is to take when it comes to correcting an erring brother.

• One is to go to the brother privately

• If he refuses to listen take two others with you

• If he still refuses, take it to the church and as last resort remove him from the fellowship – with the hope of trying to restore him back to the body of Christ.

It is at this point Peter asks a question.

Matt 18:21-22, 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.

The rabbinical code said a man could be forgiven 3 times for the same offense, Peter wanting to be more gracious then the rabbis, he offers to forgive 7 times. However, Jesus wants Peter to know it not a specific number he says 7 x 70. Jesus was not teaching there was a specific number but that forgiveness should come as a natural part of being a child of God. IT IS IN THAT CONTEXT JESUS TELLS THE FOLLOWING PARABLE


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