How often should I forgive? (Mt 18:21-18:21)

“Then Peter came.

He said to Jesus.

‘Lord!

How often

Should I forgive

My brother

Who sins against me?

As many as seven times?’”

 

Τότε προσελθὼν ὁ Πέτρος εἶπεν αὐτῷ Κύριε, ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ; ἕως ἑπτάκις;

 

There is something like this saying in Luke, chapter 17:4, but there is no mention of Peter in Luke.  Once again, it is Peter who takes on a specific leadership role.  He wanted to know how many times he should forgive his brother’s sins, as he came to Jesus (Τότε προσελθὼν ὁ Πέτρος).  He addressed him as “Lord” (εἶπεν αὐτῷ Κύριε)!  He wanted to know how often he should forgive his brother who had sinned against him (ποσάκις ἁμαρτήσει εἰς ἐμὲ ὁ ἀδελφός μου καὶ ἀφήσω αὐτῷ).  Peter thought that 7 would be a good number.  Was 7 times enough (ἕως ἑπτάκις)?  Most Jewish people had forgiven offenses 3 times.  3 strikes and you are out.  Peter seemed overly generous in his attempts at forgiveness.

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