Be on your guard! If a brother or sister sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive - Luke 17:3
1 Jesus said to his disciples, "Occasions for sin are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come! 2 It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to sin. 3 Be on your guard! If a brother or sister sins, you must rebuke the offender, and if there is repentance, you must forgive. 4 And if the same person sins against you seven times a day and turns back to you seven times and says, 'I repent,' you must forgive."
5 The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith!" 6 The Lord replied, "If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, 'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.
7 "Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, 'Come here at once and take your place at the table'? 8 Would you not rather say to him, 'Prepare supper for me; put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink'? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, 'We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!' "
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he entered a village, ten men with a skin disease approached him. Keeping their distance, 13 they called out, saying, "Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!" 14 When he saw them, he said to them, "Go and show yourselves to the priests." And as they went, they were made clean. 15 Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16 He prostrated himself at Jesus's feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17 Then Jesus asked, "Were not ten made clean? So where are the other nine? 18 Did none of them return to give glory to God except this foreigner?" 19 Then he said to him, "Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well."
Here is an important teaching on the importance of forgiveness in our spiritual walk with God. Jesus reminds us that no matter how bad the offence may seem to be, we must find the grace in our hearts to extend the same forgiveness that God the Father has extended to each one of us; when He sent His One and only Son to die for our sins. Personally, I love this quote by C.S. Lewis: "To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable in you."
In His beautiful teachings on prayers in Mark chapter 11, our Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught this important lesson on forgiveness: "Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone; so that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses."
As He hung dying on the Cross at Calvary, Jesus conveyed what Godly forgiveness means when He Himself prayed: Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34)
I will close with this beautiful hymn on forgiveness (inspired by the Parable of the Prodigal Son)
Father, I Have Sinned
Father I have sinned,
help me find my way.
Remember not my sins,
just let me hear you say:
I forgive you, I love you
You are mine, take my hand.
Go in peace, sin no more,
Father I have turned,
my back and walked away
Depended on my strength
and lived life my own way
Father I have closed,
my heart to those in need.
Thought only of myself,
a victim of my greed.
Father I have loved,
if love's the word to use.
I've played so many games,
they've left me so confused.
Father I've returned,
I'm home with you to stay.
Standing at your door,
knowing that you'll say
Youtube link: https://youtu.be/J4S39DFeKcs?si=gzjw8Jddxd2QAixo
Singers: Sunday 7pm Choir | Catholic & Christian Choral Music
Words & Music by Eugene O'Reilly
Copyright © 2001 CJM MUSIC (UK & Ireland)
CCLI & OneLicense No. 646803
Reflection on Luke 17:1-19 by Chris Tan