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Posted by Comments:
rev smith, Lacey IA
September 13, 2017
Forgiving is easy if it is not done from the
To forgive from the heart seems to me to entail
compassion on the one who is forgiven.
It is hard enough just to let go of an offense but
to take it all the way to the heart opens me to a
vulnerable state.

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
September 14, 2017

I wonder if there is a reason verse 31 was
repeated twice.

I agree, rev smith, there is indeed a huge
difference in forgiving someone, whether from the
heart (which makes us vulnerable, as you say) or
from just words--'the easy' way.

This is speaking to me pointedly at the
How are you preaching this text?

Posted by Comments:
rev smith, Lacey IA
September 14, 2017
Not sure where the Spirit is leading me yet.
I am new to the three churches I'm serving and so
far there is no obvious signs of underlying
disputes within the congregations.
I am guessing that the Spirit will lead me toward
showing them how they may look to others in their
actions. That may be the answer to why verse 31
was repeated.

We can with all our heart claim to be Christian
and still look nothing like a forgiven people.
Others will watch what we do or say outside of
worship (standing before the master in great debit
yet forgiven). How do we carry that out into the
world? Do we look like Christians once church is

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
September 15, 2017
Rev Smith: "...and still look nothing like a
forgiven people."

This is an astounding thought!

I never thought of it in this way before.

It is true, People definitely look at us when they
learn we are Christians. What will it be that
shows them that we are forgiven? I suppose it will
be like the Scripture above where forgiveness is
extended to others. That may be the greatest sign.

This probably would show them a person who is
completely free from anger and resentment; one who
is, instead, filled with peace with them self and
with other humans and with God! This may be a
rarity on earth!

You have given me something to preach! Thanks.

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
September 15, 2017

I think Grace can be the most controversial issue
in the church. As a young preacher, an elder on
the session asked me, "Do you believe in the
death penalty?" Since I told him that I
didn't, he wrote me off completely. This, for him,
was the litmus test, and I failed.

Forgiving a person 70 times 7 (RSV) (it's 77
times in the New RSV), as I recall, represents an
unlimited number of times to forgive. Correct me
if I'm wrong.

`I think it's important to remember that God
doesn't forgive people so that God can feel
better; God is doing this entirely for the
offender. And so must we, because doing it for our
own benefit is not really forgiveness.

Forgiveness translates into loving our enemies,
and doing good to those who spitefully use us.
This is definitely a new way of life! And this is
what defines us as Christians.

Posted by Comments:
priest in pa
September 16, 2017
It strikes me that we would almost always forgive
if someone comes to us asking... so I find two
lessons in this parable... the first is the real
difficulty of finding within ourselves the
humility to ask for mercy.... the second is to be
merciful enough not to make another person beg pr
ask, but to offer mercy with intiative, as our
Lord often does....

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
September 16, 2017

I posted my response to the Romans site by

These two passages may be the most difficult to
live out.

Posted by Comments:
steve souther
September 17, 2017
Does this question about forgiveness indicate
there was a problem in the community at the time
this gospel was written?

I think we can assume problems existed among
some in the fellowship of believers because you
don't raise the question about forgiveness if
there is no need for it.

Since the issue was raised all the way to the
level of the gospel record, we can assume two
things: it was a horrific problem to begin with,
but there was an avenue in which reconciliation
could occur. The avenue included bringing the
issue out in public, and then offering this very
gospel as a means of reconciliation.

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Frank Schaefer for, 2005

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