Daniel 3:25, 34-43 / Matthew 18:21-35
For those of us whose form of exercise is walking from one room to another, and carrying our plates to the basin after a meal, then we will know that any talk about serious exercise is certainly not that pleasant to hear.
We are often told that we should at least exercise 15 minutes a day and to work out a sweat and get the heart pumping.
And we know all the benefits of a good exercise routine, and that it benefits us first and foremost. And of course, a healthy heart and a healthy body will make us a pleasant person when we are with others.
Still, that may not spur us enough to put on our exercise gear and get on going with an exercise routine. And we will also make up enough of excuses not to embark on it.
When Peter asked Jesus if forgiving someone for seven times would be enough, the reply of Jesus would have probably shocked him.
It was like as if Jesus was telling Peter that seven minutes of exercise is not enough, and that he should exercise seventy-seven minutes!
As Peter was left reeling from what Jesus said, Jesus went on to tell a parable of how a servant who had a huge debt written off somehow did not have mercy on a fellow servant who owed him a comparatively insignificant debt.
And then comes the teaching point of the parable - "That is how my heavenly Father will deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from your heart."
That is to tell us that besides the necessity to forgive others, it is in practicing forgiveness that we will understand how much God has forgiven us our sins.
That is why it is necessary not just to forgive seven times but seventy-seven times. Forgiveness is not just good for us spiritually, it also keeps us healthy. And let us start immediately, and not just for seven times, but right up to seventy-seven times and even beyond.