Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.* Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)
Tell me what a pencil looks like. They can be long, short, different colors, etc. What do they all have in common on the end? An eraser. If you have a pencil with a worn down eraser, what does that tell you? Do you know what that tells me? It tells me that I make a lot of mistakes. When I make a mistake, I erase it and start over, and over again, until I get it right! I don't know why I keep pencils without erasers, because as many mistakes as I make, a pencil without an eraser is pretty useless.
Pencils remind me of people. People come in all different sizes, shapes, and colors too, but we all have one thing in common, we all make mistakes! We make a lot of mistakes. That is why God sent Jesus to die on the cross -- to erase our mistakes. When we do something wrong, we can ask God to forgive us and because of Jesus, He will erase our mistakes and we can start over again, and again, and again. Unlike these pencils, God's eraser never wears out!
Just as God forgives us over and over again. Jesus taught us that we should forgive other people over and over again.
One day, Peter asked Jesus, "How many times should I forgive someone who sins against me? Should I forgive him seven times?" I imagine that Peter was pretty proud of himself for being willing to forgive someone seven times.
Jesus answered, "Not seven times, but seventy times seven times!"
I think Jesus knew that if he said we should forgive seventy times seven times, we would never be able to keep count and we would forgive over, and over again, just as he forgives us.
It doesn't matter if we are short or tall, skinny or fat, red, white, yellow, or black; we all need God's forgiveness. We also need to remember that Jesus taught that we are to forgive others just as God forgives us.
Go: Think about someone you need to forgive.