Jesus said: “Father, forgive them.” Luke 23.34
Forgiveness is at the very heart of Christian faith. It lies at the core of the Lord’s prayer – where Jesus makes clear that forgiving others is tied to our ability to receive God’s forgiveness. Peter asks Jesus one time about how many times we should forgive someone who sins against us; Jesus’ reply is that we keep on forgiving, as he keeps on forgiving us. Forgiveness is God’s great gift to us; we are to treasure this gift, but never to be selfish with it. It is a gift that grows the more we share it out.
Sometimes, forgiving others can be hard; Jesus makes it a command in order that we forgive always – and so the blessing continues even at life’s hardest moments.
Stories about Forgiveness
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (Matthew 18.21-35)
Jesus tells a story to show that we should remember how much we have been forgiven, and forgive the little that is owed to us.
The Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15.11-32)
Jesus tells a story about two sons – and about how both should value all the forgiveness the Father gives.
A paralysed man is healed – and forgiven (Mark 2.1-12)
Jesus heals a man who cannot walk; and he forgives him all he ever did wrong. Which is harder to do?