Luke 17 Lesson

Forgiveness and gratitude

For today’s lesson, we will be focusing on two important topics:

  1. Forgiveness.
  2. Gratitude.

Jesus said:

  • “If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” – Luke 17:3-4.

The most significant word that He uses in the above passage is, “Forgive.” 

Jesus says, “If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him.”

To understand the context of that statement, we need to pay attention to what Jesus says in the verse immediately following:

“And if he sins against you seven times a day, and returns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.” – Luke 17:4.

Notice the words, “Against you.” Jesus is not asking us to be judging the sins of others. That would be in contradiction to all the passages of the Bible that tell us not to:

  • Do not judge so that you will not be judged.  For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.  Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. ´” - Mathew 7:1-5.

  • Do not judge, and you will not be judged; and do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; pardon, and you will be pardoned.” - Luke 6:37.

  • “Do not speak against one another, brethren. He who speaks against a brother or judges his brother, speaks against the law and judges the law; but if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge of it.  There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor?” - James 4:11-12.

What Jesus is talking about, is how we are supposed to behave when somebody sins directly against us. In the context of this setting, Jesus is not talking about a minor offense where we would be better off, “Turning the other cheek.” (See Mathew 5:38-40) This scripture is talking about something more serious.

Jesus does not want us to allow our brother or sister’s sin to become a source of contention between us. For that reason, we are told to go directly to that person to address our concerns (Mathew 18:15-17). That is what we should do.

What we should not do is gossip, or let our feelings fester to the point of becoming angry or frustrated.  Instead, we are to go to them in love, tell them what is bothering us, and give them a chance to repent.   We are not doing this for our own edification.   We are going to them in the hopes that our relationship with them can be restored.  More importantly, we are going to them so that they can be right with God.  

God wants us to be forgiving people.Our role is not to judge, our role is to forgive.

We should think about forgiveness in the context of what is commonly referred to as, “The Golden Rule.”

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” - Mathew 7-12.

If we want to be forgiven, we need to be quick to forgive others. During His sermon on the mount, Jesus said:

“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.” – Mathew 6:14-15.

In Mathew 18:21-22, Peter asks Jesus:

  • “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”

Jesus responds:

  • “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” 

This is another example of the importance that God places on forgiveness.

Immediately after speaking about forgiveness, Jesus gives a lesson on gratitude.

Gratitude is defined as:

  • “The quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.”

When God blesses us, we need to make sure that we show Him gratitude, and we need to say thank you. To illustrate this point, consider the passage below:

TEN LEPERS CLEANSED

“While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee. As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” And as they were going, they were cleansed. Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back, glorifying God with a loud voice, and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, “Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?”  And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.” – Luke 17-11:19.

Perhaps sometimes we too are guilty of praying for a desired outcome and then moving on when it happens without giving God a proper thank you. The scriptures that we have read today are a warning against such behavior.

We will conclude today’s lesson with another look at The Golden Rule:

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” - Mathew 7-12.

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Michelle

I am so grateful for the relationship I have with God right now and i look forward to it deepening. I have been blessed truly. I always wanted and searched for that intimate relationship and now it's happening. Among everything else.... family, my healthy daughter, my sobriety, my renewed mind, so much else. I look forward to spending time with him everyday and how about that...Jesus came suffered and died on the cross in our place so that could be forgiven and have an intimate relationship with him. Yes I'm grateful!!!!

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