Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel reading from Luke chapter 17 speaks to forgiveness and obedience. The two ideas are very closely related. When Jesus calls the disciples to forgive sin freely, we do well to note that this forgiveness is expressed for those who have sinned against us and approach us in sorrow. How has God dealt with his people? We come to him as repentant sinners, we ask his forgiveness, and he forgives us. How, then, will we deal with other sinners such as ourselves? In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus teaches us to ask the Lord to forgive our transgressions as we forgive others. Do we value God’s forgiveness? Do we despise it? Do we expect that we can hold other people to a higher standard of judgment that God does? Compared to God we have no moral qualifications to hold others accountable for their sin.
But that hurt me! When we are sinned against we don’t like it! No, God does not like being sinned against either. So what are we going to do about it? Jesus goes right on after talking about forgiveness to speak of obedience and knowing our place in the world. As we have been called servants of God, we act as his obedient servants and humble ourselves, forgiving as we have been forgiven.
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