It is not without the providence of God that this subject follows upon the “two or three” message from Christ. In fact, it all turns into one unfolding message!
Jesus had spoken in the 15th and verses that follow concerning forgiveness. Failure to deal with a matter means very simply that it will be dealt with in eternity future. Imagine having to deal with something in heaven because it was not dealt with here. (v18)
All of this leads up to Peter asking: “How often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him; Up to seven times?” I have to assume that Peter had something bothering him to have sought such an answer. Because of the question, “seven times”, it appears that in his thinking, it was most significant.
Jesus uses this opportunity to present a timely message to all listening, and of course, to Peter in particular. In effect, He gradually unfolds a telltale truth. While they are thinking this over in their minds, they are all probably thinking on the level that relates to earth, Christ answers Peter’s question from the standpoint of Heaven.
Read these words carefully: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:21) If our thinking is earthly, we might probably think with Peter “I have forgiven this man over and over; perhaps I am encouraging him in his behavior.” Then again, would it be to answer in a Christ like fashion, knowing all the while that it is recorded in Heaven?
In its simplest understanding of the Scriptural setting before us, we need to keep focused. It is necessary to approach each situation with the attitude that Sheldon used in his book: “What Would Jesus Do?” I certainly want others to forgive me, thus it behooves me to FORGIVE!
One cannot look at Calvary without being reminded of the words of our Savior: “Father! Forgive them for they know not what they do!” We only know the power of FORGIVENESS and its appropriate application when we comprehend those words of the Savior on Calvary!
(By the way, have you taken time to read our book …Forever Forgiven and Forgiving on our Website?)