For Christians and non-Christians, forgiveness is a core thing as it directly impacts your mental health and general well-being. No human is perfect; therefore, we will always be wronged in one way or the other. It is, however, for us to define how other people’s mistakes towards us will affect us. Will we carry the grudge forever or let go and forgive? As Christians, in such a case, we need to emulate Jesus’ teachings on forgiveness. So, what did Jesus say about forgiveness?
Jesus was so clear in the Bible that forgiveness is essential to a Christian’s life. He said in the book of Mathew 6:15 that for our heavenly Father to forgive us our sins, we must forgive others who have done us wrong. Furthermore, Jesus emphasized in the book of Mark 11:25 that before we start praying, we need to forgive anyone who we have anything against so that our heavenly Father can listen to our prayers and forgive us too.
So, how does Jesus define forgiveness in his teaching? Where in the Bible does Jesus talk about forgiveness? What are three things Jesus teaches about forgiveness? Why is forgiveness so important to Jesus? How many times did Jesus say to forgive? Does Jesus tell us to ask for forgiveness? What are some bible verses about forgiveness? Continue reading to get more information on these questions and much more.
How does Jesus define forgiveness in his teaching?
Jesus emphasized forgiveness through his teachings in the New Testament and defined it as a core part of a Christian’s life, as he noted that we have to forgive others for our heavenly Father to forgive us. That leaves Christians with no option as we are required to follow Jesus’ teachings and walk the walk he did.
Mathew 6:14-15 says, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive you trespasses. This verse tells us that forgiveness is conditional, and our heavenly Father can only forgive us if we forgive others.
Additionally, according to Jesus’ teachings, another core aspect of forgiveness is the words he said while on the cross. Luke 23:34, “And Jesus said, Father, forgiven them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.”
Even during his most challenging time on the cross, Jesus still chose forgiveness for those who had physically put him there. Some might argue that he forgave them because his sole purpose was to save humanity, but the above passage teaches us to choose forgiveness despite the circumstances. Forgiveness requires extending grace and mercy to others and letting God control everything.
Where in the Bible does Jesus talk about forgiveness?
Jesus mentioned forgiveness severally in the Bible. In the book of Luke 23:34, when one of his disciples, Peter, came to inquire about how many times we should forgive our brothers, Jesus told him not seven times but seventy-seven times. Additionally, the gospel books in the New Testament emphasize Jesus’ teachings that we have to forgive our others for God to forgive us (Mark 11:25, Mathew 6:15).
Jesus also talked about forgiveness in the book of Luke 17:3-4, “Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turn to you seven times saying, I repent, you must forgive him.”
Therefore, it does not count how many times others have wronged us; if they turn to us and ask for forgiveness, Jesus instructs us to forgive them. He uses the word ‘must,’ which leaves us with no option.
What are three things Jesus teaches about forgiveness?
The first core teaching of Jesus about forgiveness is that we have to forgive others for our heavenly Father to forgive us our sins. Luke 6:37 says, “Judge not, and you will not be judged, condemn not, and you will not be condemned, forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Another teaching of Jesus about forgiveness is that we must constantly forgive those who wrong us. He tells Peter in the gospel of Mathew 18:21-22 that we should forgive our brothers seventy-seven times. Additionally, Jesus taught in the book of Luke 17:3-4 that even if our brothers wrong us seven times a day, and they repent, we must forgive them.
Another thing that Jesus teaches about forgiveness, and he uses himself as an example, is that we can ask God to forgive those who wrong us. Jesus extended mercy to those who had persecuted him and asked God to forgive them, for they did not know what they were doing (Luke 23:34).
Why is forgiveness so important to Jesus?
Jesus came on earth to die for our sins so that we may be forgiven and saved. His teachings on earth emphasized the need for us to forgive others so that God may forgive us. Jesus taught that we should not even offer gifts to the altar when we are not okay with others (Mathew 5:23-24). Therefore, forgiveness was an essential part of Jesus’ ministry, and he showed it through forgiving those who had physically hanged him on the cross.
How many times did Jesus say to forgive?
Jesus said in the book of Mathew 18:21-22 that we should forgive as many times as seventy-seven times. That indicates that we are meant as Christians to not hold grudges against our neighbors. The Bible tells us to strive and live in peace with everyone. We are called to constantly forgive those who sin against us because even in our natures, we are sinners and constantly ask for forgiveness from God.
Some scholars interpret this scripture using the famous phrase in the Bible, “Do unto others as you would like to be done unto you.” We all desire our heavenly Father to forgive us to be with him in heaven one day, but for that to happen, Jesus teaches that forgiveness is non-negotiable and we should constantly forgive those who wrong us.
Does Jesus tell us to ask for forgiveness?
Jesus tells us to ask for forgiveness from God through the Lord’s Prayer. In Mathew 6:9-13, Jesus teaches his disciples to pray and indicates that we should ask for forgiveness from God just as we forgive those who wrong us. The Bible is clear that we must consistently repent of our sins for us to be forgiven.
Bible verses about forgiveness?
Colossians 3:13 says, “Bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven, you also must forgive.”
The book of Colossians emphasizes Jesus’ teachings that we must constantly forgive those who wrong us if we expect to be forgiven by our heavenly Father.
James 4:14-15 says, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”
We have to have faith when seeking forgiveness from God and believe that he can wash us clean.
Acts 13:38-39 says, “Let it be known to you therefore, brothers, that through this man forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to your, and by him everyone who believes is freed from everything which you could not be freed by the Law of Moses.”
It is through Jesus that we get to be forgiven our sins. The Bible regularly notes in the New Testament that Christ became a sin that we can be saved. Therefore, it is not through our works as men that we get to be forgiven but through Christ, who died for us.
2nd Chronicles 7:14 reads, “If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
Therefore, we do not just get forgiveness on a silver platter. If we go against God’s word, he will only forgive us if we turn from our wicked ways and repent, and ask for forgiveness.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.