Friday, July 25, 2014
“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21,22 KJV).
What is Jesus Christ really communicating in today’s Scripture when He says, “Until seventy times seven?”
The Bible student should always be mindful of every word in the King James Bible; when God’s Word is specific, it is for a reason. Today’s Scripture is such an instance where Bible specifics, not just “general fundamentals,” are important. When the Apostle Peter came to Jesus and asked Him how often he was to forgive his brother (any Jew) who sinned against him, Peter inquired, “Till seven times?” In Scripture, seven is the number of perfection or completion (the creation week, for example, is the first time Scripture mentions the number seven; cf. Genesis 2:1-3). Nevertheless, Jesus answered, “Until seventy times seven.” It is our firm conviction that Jesus did not randomly select this number; He was teaching a doctrine about a special completion.
In Daniel 9:24, the angel Gabriel explained to the Prophet: “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” It would take seventy weeks of years—or 490 years—to cleanse the nation Israel. For 490 years, God would patiently deal with Israel’s sins and purge her of all wickedness (to be followed by Jesus Christ’s earthly kingdom, the latter part of the verse). Verses 25 and 26 explain that 69 weeks of years (or 483 years) were fulfilled before Calvary, and the final seven years (verse 27) are still awaiting fulfillment (the future seven-year Tribulation).
What Jesus was saying in today’s Scripture was (paraphrased), “Peter, you are to forgive your Jewish neighbor to the extent I forgive your Jewish nation.” According to the foregoing verses, the schedule of Daniel 9:24 was operating when Jesus spoke those words to Peter! Amazing! 🙂