Matthew 6:1-18 Part 3 – On Forgiveness Rabbi Michael Weiner
The last line of the Lord’s Prayer is … Matthew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. This verse is sandwiched between two verses that mention forgiveness. Here they are …
Matthew 6:12 And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors.
Then in Matthew 6:14, the next thought Yeshua shares is …
Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
To forgive a person means to release that person from any revenge. It means abandoning any need to “get even.” There is one-sided forgiveness (called non-transactional forgiveness) and two-sided forgiveness (called transactional forgiveness). One-sided forgiveness is when you forgive someone with no response at all from them. Two-sided forgiveness is when you forgive someone and they forgive you as well, releasing you from any possible future revenge.
Interpersonal transactions and relationships in general are tricky. When things between two people go wrong, there is usually (almost always) some fault on both sides. There may be a preponderance of fault on one side, but still some small percentage of fault on the other side. That’s why transactional forgiveness is the ideal.
However; someone else’s willingness to forgive should not rob you of your blessing. Since all blessing comes from God, we must forgive others in every situation so that we, ourselves, can receive God’s blessing of forgiveness. Don’t miss this. A root of bitterness is debilitating to our walk with the Lord.
Hebrews 12:14 Pursue shalom with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God; and see to it that no bitter root springs up and causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.
Consider Yeshua’s example from the cross. This is one case when all the blame was on one side. Yeshua was completely innocent, yet He forgave others, completely releasing them from any revenge. Luke 23:34a But Yeshua was saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Search yourself to see if there is any root of bitterness in you. God is watching … Proverbs 20:27 The spirit of man is the lamp of Adonai, searching all his inmost being. Let’s bring this to a close today with one final thought on the value of forgiveness. Colossians 3:12-13 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves in tender compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience – bearing with one another and forgiving each other, if anyone has a grievance against another. Just as the Lord pardoned you, so also you must pardon others.