"Jesus, I have a question," Peter says, "we've all heard you speak a lot about how important forgiveness is in becoming true disciples of yours, but what I'm wondering is, what are the boundaries of forgiveness? How many times should we forgive? Seven times?"
(Matthew 18.21, Joe's version)
We have to love Peter, a man after our own hearts! If in the gospels Peter has been revealed to be anything, its that he's an honest man, sometimes to his detriment. And the question he asks of Jesus in this recording of Matthew is a perfect example of the honest wrestling Peter was experiencing between Jesus' way of life and the life he had been used to living.
Forgiveness is important, Peter acknowledges, but there's got to be a limit, right?
You see, Peter's question is a kingdom question. Meaning, his question has to do with the degree to which God's will (his kingdom) is meant to be carried out in his life regarding those who have in some way wronged him.
It's not hard to imagine that in the space between asking this question and Jesus' reply, Peter, and perhaps the other disciples as well, were uncomfortably curious as to what Jesus would say.
And what did Jesus say in regard to this question?
Join us this Sunday as we explore his answer and its implications for our lives in the continuation of our series, The Jesus Parables.