The Synoptics on Forgiveness
Jesus' Practice of Forgiveness
Luke 5:21 The Pharisees and the teachers of the law began thinking to themselves, "Who is this fellow who speaks blasphemy? Who can forgive sins but God alone?"
Luke 5:23 Which is easier: to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,' or to say, 'Get up and walk'?
Luke 5:24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins...." He said to the paralyzed man, "I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home."
Luke 7:47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins
have been forgiven--
for she loved much. But he who has been forgiven little
Luke 23:34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for
they do not
know what they are doing." And they divided up his
clothes by casting lots.
The forgiveness of sins involves a restoration of a broken relationship. There are two categories of such relationship - that which is between people, and that which is between a person and God. It was this second category that Jesus was dealing with here of which it was reckoned to be the exclusive right of God to forgive sins. God affirmed that Jesus had the authority to forgive such sins through the miracles he performed.
Ac 2:22 "Men of Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through him, as you yourselves know."Reason to Forgive
Having the authority to do so, Jesus can arbitrarily forgive sins as he sees fit. But what was it about the three situations above that motivated him to exercise such forgiveness.
The Gospel of Forgiveness
Luke 1:77 to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins,
Luke 3:3 He went into all the country around the Jordan,
preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.
Luke 24:47 and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
Matthew 26:28 This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
Forgiveness and Judgment
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
Matthew 6:15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
Luke 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
Matthew 18:35 "This is how my heavenly Father
will treat each
of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
Another thing to note is the figure of speech that
Jesus is using in
the case of Luke 6:37. Does this teach that
everyone who doesn't
judge others will automatically be saved? For doesn't it
say "Judge not
and you shall not be judged"? This is part of the Sermon
on the Mount and as I pointed out in that
study Jesus is using
a proverbial figure of speech, the sense of which is
if you judge others they will judge you, and if you
condemn others they
will condemn you, and if you forgive others they will
forgive you." This
is really descriptive rather than proscriptive, as it
human relationships in a proverbial form.
Repentance and Forgiveness
Luke 17:4 If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, 'I repent,' forgive him."
Matthew 18:21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
There is a reciprocal relationship between our concept
of God's forgiveness
of our sins and our practice of forgiving others. For if
we think we can
sin so bad that no degree of repentance will allow God
to forgive us, this
may also affect how we place inappropriate limitations
on our forgiving
others - and the converse as well. Those of an Arminian
particular beware of this type of thinking. For there is
on the forgiveness of sins for the repentant, regardless
of whether it
means us forgiving others or God forgiving us.
Blaspheming the Holy Spirit
Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven , either in this age or in the age to come.
Mark 3:28 I tell you the truth, all the sins and blasphemies of men will be forgiven them.
Mark 3:29 But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin."
necessarily qualify for the promise to be applied to us.