LET YOUR RIGHTEOUSNESS EXCEED THAT OF SCRIBES AND THE PHARISEES (Matt 5:20)
📖Ezek 12:1-12; Ps 78:56-57, 58-59, 61-62 (R.v.7b); Matt 18:21 – 19:1
Indeed Peter wanted to achieve perfection. That is why he put that question to Jesus, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
The number “7” in biblical terms symbolizes completeness and holiness. This is based on the fact that God completed the work of creation on the seventh day and sanctified it (cf. Gen 2:2-3). Hence, the Jews used that number as a benchmark for completing their duty and evaluating their holiness.
The response of Jesus to Peter’s question was a radical reversal of that tradition. “Seventy times seven” equals four hundred and ninety (70 x 7 = 490). It will amount to excess time and stupidity for anyone to begin to take data of such number of wrongdoing.
Positively, it is an invitation to generosity beyond measure. That is why Jesus gave that parable of the servant who was forgiven so much, and so is demanded to reciprocate that generosity by forgiving others (Matt 18:23-35).
Jesus has given us so much love which is even underserved. We are to reciprocate that love by loving others beyond measure and unconditionally. May we always price his merciful love above human judgement in our relationship with others. Amen.
Have a loving and fulfilling day ahead. Peace be with you.