An exposition of Jesus’ life meant for young and old, to clarify the deeper meaning of the Messiah.
In the previous section, part 3, we have extensively discussed the spiritual leaders in Jesus days and how Jesus corrected them:
NKJV (Luke 11: 52-54) 52 “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge. You did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.” 53 And as He said these things to them, the scribes and the Pharisees began to assail Him vehemently, and to cross-examine Him about many things, 54 lying in wait for Him, and seeking to catch Him in something He might say, that they might accuse Him.
In His teachings, Jesus often spoke of how important ‘forgiving’ is and emphasized that it has profound consequences when we do not forgive:
NKJV (Matthew 6: 14-15) 14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
Forgiving of our neighbor will be the theme of this writing, especially how Jesus handled this, how Jesus acted and what His teachings were, and the teachings in Scripture.
Theme: The ‘Forgiving’ of our neighbor
As Christians we are all hurt, now and then.
Sometimes we are ignored, sometimes denied or hurt ‘in a delicate manner’.
Others hate us or drive the spot with us, what a contemptuous communication is.
But some Christians, unfortunately, have been done gross unjustness.
What is forgiving?
The forgiveness that Jesus speaks about is the granting of forgiveness to a sinner, having no more anger for him for his transgression and having no more claim for retaliation.
Gandhi once said: You cannot forgive if you are weak.
Forgiving is a characteristic of the stronger ones.
The original Greek word ‘aphesis’ literally means release, complete forgiveness.
This can be accomplished by praying to God, to give you the power to let go of what has happened, no matter how the other is still facing it.
Forgiving is something different from reconciliation. The best is, that the person who has hurt you regrets that and that he or she wants to correct it. Then there can also be reconciliation.
But sometimes this does not happen and you can still forgive, and then it does not affect you emotionally anymore.
You can pray for the one who has hurt you.
It’s furthermore no longer a problem to meet or even love the person in question.
Forgiving therefore does not mean that you approve of what the other has done to you, or that you think of excuses for that. Forgiving is just let go of your anger and that you no longer want revenge.
How does forgiving begin?
Forgiving begins with self-awareness, realizing that you yourself also make mistakes:
NKJV (Matthew 6:12) 12 And forgive us our debts, As we forgive our debtors.
Forgiving others is making a choice, whether you are willing to forgive.
It’s a natural reaction that you’re angry and sad when something bad has happened to you. But by talking about it (especially in prayer) you process those feelings and they become less with time, just like with bereavement. With forgiving, you let peace come into your life again:
NKJV (Ephesians 4: 25-27) 25 Therefore, putting away lying, “Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,” for we are members of one another. 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, 27 nor give place to the devil.
NKJV (1 Thessalonians 5: 9) 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
NKJV (1 Timothy 2: 8) 8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting;
NKJV (James 1: 19-20) 19 So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; 20 for the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
It is good to realize that God will separate man as a person from his actions. He loves the sinner, but his sinful lifestyle He hates. God sent His Son to the earth because of the love He had for the people.
If we forgive others, we will be forgiven ourselves too
NKJV (Marcus 11: 25-26) 25 “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. 26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”
NKJV (1 John 3:14) 14 We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.
NKJV (Luke 6:37) 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.
NKJV (2 Peter 1: 9) 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins
NKJV (John 20:23) 23 If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Forgiveness in the Old Testament
How was forgiving of sins for the Jews arranged in the Old Testament?
NKJV (Leviticus 19: 17-18) 17 ‘You shall not hate your brother in your heart. You shall surely rebuke your neighbor, and not bear sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.
Through these animal sacrifices, it was possible that under the law mercy could be granted by our heavenly Father, see Leviticus chapter 4:
NKJV (Hebrews 9:22) 22 And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.
From this law (of Moses) it appears that, although the law was strict against the deliberate, unrepentant sinner, enough space was left to rehabilitate the person who had been unintentionally sinned. For the deliberate sinner, there was no place within the Jewish people of God:
NKJV (Numbers 15: 29-31) 29 You shall have one law for him who sins unintentionally, for him who is native-born among the children of Israel and for the stranger who dwells among them. 30 ‘But the person who does anything presumptuously, whether he is native-born or a stranger, that one brings reproach on the Lord, and he shall be cut off from among his people. 31 Because he has despised the word of the Lord, and has broken His commandment, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt shall be upon him.’”
Though, since the exodus from Egypt, there was an annual commemoration of their Divine salvation, the Passover.
The Passover Lamb had to meet the following characteristics:
NKJV (Exodus 12: 5-6) 5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats. 6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.
The Passover Lamb was needed annually until the death of the Lamb of God. (see John 1:29)
Jesus, the sinless Son of God, died for us and became the flawless Lamb for our sins.
Jesus bought our forgiveness when He died for us, His death means for us salvation:
NKJV (Matthew 26:28) 28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
NKJV (Hebrews 10: 16-18) 16 “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,” 17 then He adds, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” 18 Now where there is remission of these, there is no longer an offering for sin.
Not quickly be offended or hurt
Jesus gave us an example with the intention, that we will not let us quickly be offended:
NKJV (Luke 6: 29-35) 29 To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. 30 Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. 31 And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise. 32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.
Offering the ‘other cheek’ refers to verbal insults, not physical violence.
Love our neighbor and our enemy
In first instance, it sounds contradictory to love our enemies, yet that’s what Jesus taught us:
NKJV (Luke 6: 27-28) 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you.
Notice that Jesus speaks of doing well to those who hate you and answer badness with goodness.
To love someone – after injustice – can sometimes be difficult, but Jesus asks us to do so:
NKJV (Matthew 22: 35-40) 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[d] 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[e] 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Paul said it once in this way:
NKJV (Romans 12:20) 20 Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
These fiery coals must be understood as the conscience that will speak because the perpetrator regrets his behavior when he sees that the other is doing well to him.
The ‘physical’ heart is the organ in the body, which provides in the pumping of blood.
The ‘spiritual’ heart in Scriptures stands for personal characteristics, the personality:
NKJV (Matthew 9: 4) 4 But Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, “Why do you think evil in your hearts?
NKJV (Matthew 15: 18-19) 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.
NKJV (Luke 6:45) 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.
NKJV (Ephesians 4: 17-18) 17 This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;
NKJV (1 Timothy 1: 5) 5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith,
Do not develop hate but develop love
Be honest. Note that no one is perfect, neither you are:
NKJV (James 3: 2) 2 For we all stumble in many things. If anyone does not stumble in word, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle the whole body.
NKJV (Ephesians 4:32) 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
NKJV (Colossians 3:13) 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Mutual forgiveness between Christians
When Christians sin against each other, it may have consequences within the Christian congregation:
NKJV (Matthew 18: 21-22) 21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
NKJV (Matthew 5: 21-24) 21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder,and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24 leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.
NKJV (Matthew 7: 1-5) 1 “Judge not, that you be not judged. 2 For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. 3 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? 5 Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
NKJV (1 Peter 4: 8) 8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”
NKJV (2 Corinthians 2: 7) 7 so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.
Jesus did not say we have to cover up everything. When our brother or sister lives in sin, it is not good to cover it up. Then we must correct that person in a meekness way. Showing meekness is not trivializing:
NKJV (Galatians 6: 1) 1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.
NKJV (Matthew 18: 15-17) 15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’[b] 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Be forgiven by God
Also for yourself, you may need forgiveness.
By acknowledging your own mistakes, if you are a sinner yourself, and when you confess your mistakes to God, He will forgive you on the basis of the sacrifice of Jesus:
NKJV (Hebrews 12: 5) 5 And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;
When God forgives us, our mistakes are no longer remembered:
NKJV (Hebrews 8:12) 12 For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”
Although we as Christians must forgive another Christian at all times, God will not forgive a Christian if he does not show repentance:
NKJV (Matthew 18: 23-27) 23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But as he was not able to pay, his master commanded that he be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and that payment be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down before him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
The king of the above story had forgiven a servant, who had a great debt to him.
This servant unfortunately showed no repentance:
NKJV (Matthew 18: 28-35) 28 “But that servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and he laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down at his feet[d] and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 30 And he would not, but went and threw him into prison till he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what had been done, they were very grieved, and came and told their master all that had been done. 32 Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?’ 34 And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
The king from the example of Jesus said to this servant: ‘Wicked servant!’ (Verse 32)
The non-forgiving servant was then handed over to the ‘torturers.’ (Verse 34)
These torturers who collect the debt do not predict much good for this servant.
Therefore, according to Jesus, we must do our utmost to forgive our neighbors.
Sin against the Holy Spirit can not be forgiven:
NKJV (Matthew 12: 31-32) 31 “Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. 32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.
The repentant woman and the Pharisee
At a certain occasion, Jesus was invited by a curious Pharisee for a bite to eat:
NKJV (Luke 7: 36-39) 36 Then one of the Pharisees asked Him to eat with him. And He went to the Pharisee’s house, and sat down to eat. 37 And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. 39 Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he spoke to himself, saying, “This Man, if He were a prophet, would know who and what manner of woman this is who is touching Him, for she is a sinner.”
The Pharisee was of opinion that Jesus could not be a prophet, because Jesus did not reprimand the sinful woman.
Jesus was aware of this and asked Simon, the Pharisee, a remarkable question:
NKJV (Luke 7: 40-50) 40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” So he said, “Teacher, say it.” 41 “There was a certain creditor who had two debtors. One owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. 42 And when they had nothing with which to repay, he freely forgave them both. Tell Me, therefore, which of them will love him more?” 43 Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have rightly judged.” 44 Then He turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house; you gave Me no water for My feet, but she has washed My feet with her tears and wiped them with the hair of her head. 45 You gave Me no kiss, but this woman has not ceased to kiss My feet since the time I came in. 46 You did not anoint My head with oil, but this woman has anointed My feet with fragrant oil. 47 Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” 48 Then He said to her, “Your sins are forgiven.” 49 And those who sat at the table with Him began to say to themselves, “Who is this who even forgives sins?” 50 Then He said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.”
Jesus, with this example, allowed the Pharisee to think about his own behavior, to make changes in his own behavior.
Be hated for the Christian faith
NKJV (Matthew 10:22) 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
NKJV (Luke 6:27) 27 “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
NKJV (Matthew 10: 16-22, 28) 16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. 18 You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles. 19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you. 21 “Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death. 22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved…………. 28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
NKJV (Luke 6:22) 22 Blessed are you when men hate you, And when they exclude you, And revile you, and cast out your name as evil, For the Son of Man’s sake.
NKJV (John 15: 20-25) 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’
NKJV (John 17:14) 14 I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.
NKJV (1 Peter 2: 21-23) 21 For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: 22 “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; 23 who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously;
Forgiving of non-Christians
Paul had forgiven the coppersmith Alexander, and then left the retaliation to the Lord:
NKJV (2 Timothy 4: 14-17) 14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. 15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words. 16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them. 17 But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
If we answer badness with goodness, it is not unthinkable that some people come to faith in the Son of God, which is necessary for salvation:
NKJV (2Thess.1: 8-9) 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,
NKJV (Revelation 20:15) 15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
Christians avoid confrontations
Jesus was careful with confrontations and rather avoided confrontations:
NKJV (John 7: 2-11) 2 Now the Jews’ Feast of Tabernacles was at hand. 3 His brothers therefore said to Him, “Depart from here and go into Judea, that Your disciples also may see the works that You are doing. 4 For no one does anything in secret while he himself seeks to be known openly. If You do these things, show Yourself to the world.” 5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him. 6 Then Jesus said to them, “My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready. 7 The world cannot hate you, but it hates Me because I testify of it that its works are evil. 8 You go up to this feast. I am not yet[b] going up to this feast, for My time has not yet fully come.” 9 When He had said these things to them, He remained in Galilee. 10 But when His brothers had gone up, then He also went up to the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. 11 Then the Jews sought Him at the feast, and said, “Where is He?”
Be prepared for injustice
If Jesus noted, that the worship of His Father was inflicted great injustice, Jesus always intervened.
As in the following Scripture of the unjust trade in the temple in Jerusalem:
NKJV (John 2: 13-17) 13 Now the Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 And He found in the temple those who sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the money changers doing business. 15 When He had made a whip of cords, He drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and the oxen, and poured out the changers’ money and overturned the tables. 16 And He said to those who sold doves, “Take these things away! Do not make My Father’s house a house of merchandise!” 17 Then His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for Your house has eaten Me up.”
Jesus was never ashamed about His teachings and His actions, such as when he cured people on the Sabbath or when He called the Pharisees and Sadducees a ‘generation of vipers’.
That is also an example for us, not to be ashamed about the Christ and our Heavenly Father, but to publicly defend our faith.
We as Christians also do not have to await and to accept if we expect a gross injustice:
NKJV (Matthew 24:43) 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into.
NKJV (Matthew 10:23) 23 When they persecute you in this city, flee to another….
NKJV (Luke 21:34-36) 34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
The Healer and Protector
As Christians, we can always – for spiritual healing and support – approach Jesus and our Heavenly Father:
NKJV (Matthew 11: 28-30) 28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
NKJV (Matthew 7: 7-8) 7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
NKJV (Luke 18: 1-8) 1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’” 6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily…..
NKJV (Luke 4: 16-18) 16 So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17 And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, …..(see also Isaiah 61: 1-2)
NKJV (Luke 12: 4-7) 4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him! 6 “Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
When we are treated with unjust, we can always approach God. God, the Almighty, the perfectly impartial and righteous Judge, who wants the very best for us.
As we have faith in God as our righteous Judge, we are able to release all hate feelings just like Jesus did and to surrender completely to God. It is liberating and an assurance to know, that God will act righteously. Jesus and our Heavenly Father will always protect us:
NKJV (John 16:33) 33 These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
NKJV (1 Corinthians 10:13) 13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
When we leave injustice to God, we can also have the conviction that it is no longer our accountability:
NKJV (Romans 12: 17-19) 17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.
As in the example, which Jesus gave towards his executors:
NKJV (Luke 23:34) 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
Or as in the case of Paul who was present at the stoning of Stephen:
NKJV (Acts 7: 59-60) 59 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Paul later wrote, that mercy was given to him because he had done it in his ignorance, from unbelief:
NKJV (1 Timothy 1: 13) 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
Christians are encouraged to be peacemakers:
NKJV (Matthew 5: 9) 9 Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God.
NKJV (2 Corinthians 13:11) 11 Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
NKJV (Philippians 4: 7) 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
NKJV (John 13: 34-35) 34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
NKJV (Romans 16:20) 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
Our Heavenly Father and Jesus will support their Christian servants throughout the entire tribulation and give them strength.
The power of prayer will be great and will give us the strength to love our enemies:
NKJV (Matthew 12:20) 20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory;
NKJV (John 3:18) 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
NKJV (Revelation 22:12) 12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.
Till here this part about forgiving. In the next part – Jesus the promised Messiah part 5 – we will continue with Jesus important education about subjects as humility, kindness, and mercy.