Jesus often countered the teachings of the Pharisees with a completely unusual tactic. The Rabbinical tradition relied on quoting the old, reliable teachings of famous teachers for “good doctrine”. Jesus countered this by speaking with authority (Matthew 7:29) and with phrases like “you have heard it said… but I say”, asserting his own ability to discern the scripture. One remarkable time he did this was in Matthew 18.*

Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

Matthew 18:21-22

Jesus flipped the call for a “reasonable” amount of forgiveness granted by the Pharisees into a harder task. Never stop forgiving. We take our position under the Law of Liberty for granted. The Law of Moses was a harsh master, binding the sinner to death and punishment. The Law that comes from Jesus sets us free, not to continue sinning, but to share forgiveness with our fellow sinners!


God of Grace, grant us hearts that are humbled by your gift of salvation and let that humility overflow into forgiveness for your children here on Earth that we can be beyond reproach in all things. Amen.

Ethan Kirl

Originally published April 23, 2020