Have you ever hosted such a big party that you had to send out 490 invitations? Have you ever received so many gifts on your birthday that you had to write 490 thank you cards? Do you have such a big family that you send out 490 Christmas cards? I send a lot of Christmas cards – but not that many!
Have you ever had to forgive someone – someone who was mean to you or hurt you? Maybe one or two times. I have never seen any “I Forgive You” cards for sale in the stores, but I can imagine that I could send a few out when I forgive people. The disciples in the Bible thought that sending SEVEN “I Forgive You” cards would be the maximum. Certainly Jesus couldn’t expect them to forgive mean people more than seven times.
But he did. Jesus said that we should forgive 70 x 7 times. That’s 490 times that we should send an “I Forgive You” card. That’s an awful lot of forgiveness. That’s a lot of cards.
I think it was Jesus’ hope that we would lose count of all that great forgiving and just keep doing it. Once you have forgiven 490 times, I’m sure that it will have become second nature for us to offer forgiveness whenever it is needed. What a gift we can give to all those people who need forgiveness in our lives.