Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven."
Perhaps Peter was feeling righteous when he suggested to the Lord that forgiving an offending brother seven times would be acceptable to God. There was a rabbinic view that one need forgive only three times, so in effect Peter was actually doubling the quota for forgiveness. But the Lord responded with a number much greater than Peter's. In fact, the Lord's idea of forgiveness knows no boundaries, and His followers are to forgive as He forgives. Today I read that Pierce O'Farrill, a 28-year-old who was shot three times in the Aurora theatre, says he has forgiven James Holmes the suspected shooter. O'Farrill, who serves at the Denver Rescue Mission -- a Christian organization -- was quoted as saying: "Of course, I forgive him with all my heart. . . when I saw him in his hearing, I felt nothing but sorrow for him -- he's just a lost soul right now. I want to see him sometime. The first thing I want to say to him is 'I forgive you,' and the next is, 'Can I pray for you?'" Pierce is a living testimony to what Christ taught. And it is by the power of Christ that this young man is able to forgive so great an offense. Praise God for his example.