First beneficiary of our forgiveness
Luke : 17
❇️ If your brother sins rebuke him and if he repents forgive him (v3)
❇️ Jesus makes it clear that repentence is a prerequisite for forgiveness. Two models of forgiveness are given in the Bible.
Model – 1
❇️ In Mat.18:15 -17 our Lord says,” If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault between the two of you.If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along so that every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
❇️ From the above it is clear to us that we need to handle those who hurt us gently by pointing out their fault first privately without accusing them publicly which is a very practical way of solving the matter.
❇️ In this model our Lord wants us to speak the truth in love (Eph.4:15) to our offenders so that they will repent and receive forgiveness from us.
❇️ If all of us follow this model of our Lord in dealing with disputes between us many a problem would be solved amicably in our society.
Model – 2
❇️ Our Lord gives another model of forgiveness. Very often the question is who should initiate reconciliation first, whether the offender or the victim should first initiate the reconciliation ?
▪️ Worldview is that the offender should apologise first to reconcile with the victim.
▪️ God’s view is that the victim should take the initiative to forgive the offender.
❇️ Our Lord taught his disciples, ” If you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.” (Mat.6:14) which was demonstrated by his death on the cross as a victim in order to reconcile the offender (man) with God.
❇️ God’s model of victim forgiving the offender was shown by Joseph with his brothers and also by David who refused to kill King Saul when he had an easy chance to finish him off.Thus in both models of forgiveness the operative virtue is love without which we will only hit back on those who sin against us.
❇️ Every time we choose to forgive the one offended us we heal a wound in us and thus we are the first beneficiary of our forgiveness.
✅ Insights learnt:
▪️Repentence is the prerequisite for forgiveness
▪️Speak the truth in love
▪️Victim should initiate reconciliation with offender
Dr. E. Christadoss