Theme: DEMANDS OF TRUE DISCIPLESHIP
Text: “And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” – Luke 11:4.
Comment: The text for today is the part of the Lord’s Prayer where Jesus Christ taught his disciples to pray for God’s forgiveness as they (disciples) are also expected or duty-bound to forgive their fellow men. By precepts and examples, Jesus Christ taught us forgiveness. He admonished us to forgive as many times as possible when our Offender repents. When St. Peter asked him: “…Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?” The answer the Lord gave him was: “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.” (Matthew 18:21, 22) The spiritual import of “seventy times seven” is that as many times as the wrongdoer comes to apologise, one should forgive. He also said: “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” – Luke 17:3,4.
Forgiveness is a mark of spiritual maturity as could be seen in the cases of Jesus Christ and Stephen the Apostle who not only forgave but also prayed for their persecutors: “… Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do…” and “… Lord, lay not this sin to their charge.” – Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60.
As true disciples of Jesus Christ, we should be tenderhearted, forgiving one another. – Ephesians 4:31-32.