Cutting Room Floor: 24,500% Forgiveness

We’re spending our summer following along with Peter as he follows Jesus, from the moment Jesus calls him, through Acts and then finishing in 1 and 2 Peter. Since so many sermons study a “point in time” in the life of a follower, but can often take that point in time and preach it as if we should live that way every day, all the time, we thought it would be helpful instead to take a long view of the ups and downs of a follower of Jesus over his entire lifetime.

We love Peter because he was a public learner. Partly because of his personality – he blurted out what he was thinking without much filter. I can’t relate to that at all can totally relate. But also because he was the spokesperson for the disciples. Often Jesus would correct Peter and we get to listen in. Also of note, Peter seemed freakishly comfortable saying, “No, Lord.” An oxymoron if ever there was one, but one that all of us think or say under our breath or with our fingers crossed.

So this week, “Lord how many times do I need to forgive? 7 times?”

“Not 7 times, but 70 times 7 times.”

A few thoughts that didn’t make the sermon:

  • First of all, waddup, NIV11? Talents and Denari are now silver coins and bags of gold. First you remove NIV1984 from my trusty Bible software so I can’t access that excellent translation, but I’m tiring of how far you push dynamic equivalence. With google, people can sort out the definitions for themselves.
  • Jesus talks about little children, then “little ones” which scholars think is referring to brand new believers. Should we not lead astray the little children or the little ones? The correct answer is “yes.”
  • Children bookend the story about forgiveness. There are many benefits of approaching God as a child. In the message we focused on two: how easily a child can move into wonder and astonishment and how a child can enjoy the same thing over and over again without tiring of it. In contrast an adult needs some things taken off our plate before we can open up to wonder and we quickly tire of repetition. Which leads me to one of my all time favorite quotes:

 Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, “Do it again”; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, “Do it again” to the sun; and every evening, “Do it again” to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy; for we have sinned and grown old, and our Father is younger than we. – GK Chesterton

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