Parable of an Unforgiving Servant
n Matthew, Jesus and his disciples discuss various issues of morality, faith, and the nature of the forgiveness of sins. It’s important to remember that these Jews are living in a time where Jewish law is absolute and very strict. Atonement for sins is difficult, and only achievable through very specific actions and rituals. That concept of spiritual forgiveness has impacted their culture beliefs about forgiveness on a personal level as well.
So, in Matthew 18:21, the disciple Peter comes to Jesus and asks how many times he should forgive someone: ”how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
Why seven? According to Jewish traditions, you should forgive a person who has sinned against you three times, so Peter thinks he’s being pretty generous. Jesus responds by saying you should forgive someone seventy-seven times, a hyperbole implying there’s no limit to forgiveness
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