Part 3 of Kings & Kingdoms
“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”
Kingdom of God:
Matthew’s Gospel introduces Jesus’ teaching concerning prayer. His teaching captivated the ears of the multitude, including His own disciples. This crowd included followers, curiosity seekers, the religious elite, and the poor.
Luke’s Gospel, chapter 11, relates another time of the Lord’s teaching on prayer. This occasion resulted from one of His own questioning disciples. Here Jesus speaks to His followers, those who believed Him to be the Messiah. What He spoke, Jesus lived. He calls us to the same standard.
“And he said unto them…
And forgive us our sins:
for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us…”
“Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.”
“and mercy rejoiceth against judgment.” James 2:13.
Kingdom of this world:
The rule of the world exacts judgment and executes payment. Pardon happens according to the inclination of the heart.
“Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton;
ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.
Ye have condemned and killed the just;
and he doth not resist you.” James 5:5-6.
“For he shall have judgment without mercy,
that hath shewed no mercy…” James 2:13.
Forgiveness among the world depends upon the whims of the heart to implement mercy to the offender. It should not be so among the children of the kingdom of God. As the Father’s forgiveness cleanses our hearts and frees us from guilt and its punishment, forgiveness to another by the grace of God should flow from our heart to our offender. No more than God’s forgiveness can free us from guilt and punishment unless we receive it, nor can our forgiveness extended to another free them unless they receive it. It does, however, free us from the guilt and seeking of exacting punishment, keeping our heart cleansed before the Father. Mercy not judgment remains the rule for God’s children.
When do you find it hardest to forgive?