Is receiving forgiveness contingent upon giving it?
In at least two places in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus seems to imply that in order to be forgiven, one must first forgive others. The first is within the epilogue to what we call the Lord’s Prayer from Matthew 6, in the midst of the Sermon on the Mount:
“If you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you don’t forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your sins.”Matthew 6:14-15, CEB
The second comes at the end of Matthew 18 at the end of the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant:
“My heavenly Father will also do the same to you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”Matthew 18:35, CEB
So is Jesus saying we can’t be forgiven if we don’t forgive others first? Is there a quid pro quo for divine forgiveness? Is forgiveness conditional?
Or is there something deeper happening in these texts? Something that has less to do with transactional religion than with transformational faith?
What if what Jesus is really saying is that if you don’t forgive others, you’ll never know how to experience it for yourself?
This week at New Wineskins we’ll continue our Fall Kickoff Series on Forgiveness as the Root of Liberation with a video reflection on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant and a brief commentary from Sr. Melinda Roper on Living Forgiveness
6:00pm EDT: Happy Half-Hour (informal meet & greet time)
6:30pm EDT: Presentation & conversation begin
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