21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
The remaining chapter deals with the issue of the standard for forgiveness (18:21-35) in the kingdom.
Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother [fellow believer] sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”
Peter presumed that to forgive seven times was liberal with forgiveness. He thought he was super spiritual for doing this. How wrong he was!
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
Jesus said to forgive 490 times. We do not take this literally but figuratively—forgive indefinitely.
Forgiveness knows no boundaries in reconciling grace.
Christians cannot carry an unforgiving attitude without doing harm to our spiritual life. Believers should know no limit to their forgiveness. A grudge is not part of the Christian way of life. Keeping record of wrongs done to us distorts our orientation.
1 Co 13:5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no [does not keep a record of] evil;
Forgiveness is the willingness not to punish those who wrong us. They deserve punishment but we chose not to execute punishment. Jesus took our punishment on the cross, thus we know something about being forgiven. We still need forgiveness for sins we commit as Christians.