JESUS FORGAVE OTHERS
By Dave Channell
“And Jesus said, ‘Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.’” Luke 23:34 “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 Jesus has forgiven all who have repented of their sins. And, He was in the habit of forgiving others throughout His life on earth. Consider the way He called Zacchaeus to Himself. Jesus knew that Zacchaeus extorted money from his own people for the Roman occupiers. But when Jesus met Zacchaeus, He treated him as a friend. It was obvious Jesus held nothing against Zacchaeus; He had forgiven him completely! One of Jesus’ closest friends, Peter, denied he even knew Jesus when Jesus was facing Pilate. This was after Jesus had spent three years pouring His life into Peter. After His resurrection, Jesus saw Peter on the seashore. He gently and intentionally restored Peter and forgave him fully. As followers of Jesus, we are called to offer forgiveness to others. This is not always easy! It is something we must practice because it is very easy to fall back into selfishness and unforgiveness. Let’s choose to think about all that we have been forgiven of and then let’s practice forgiving others quickly.
Today, pray and ask God to show you if there is someone you have not forgiven. When God shows you someone you need to forgive, be intentional to reach out to them, and offer your forgiveness. Then be sure to let them know that God offers forgiveness to both of you.
Is there someone you haven’t forgiven? Spend time in prayer and ask the Lord to help you forgive them. Find a time to reach out to them and let them know you forgive them. Use that situation to point them to Jesus.
Talk with your children about what it looks like to forgive their brother, sister, or friend. Encourage them to offer forgiveness to someone that recently upset them or hurt their feelings.
Lord, You have forgiven me of so much, and I still need to repent and ask forgiveness often. You love and redeem corrupt men like Zacchaeus, back-stabbers like Peter, and sinners like me. Help me to offer forgiveness to others.