All the difference in one word
One word…all the difference in one word.
Can you imagine the impact if Luke 17:4 had one word replaced….?
The actual verse reads thus,
“…and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him” (Luke 17:4).
Imagine if I could replace the word “saying” with the word “proving.” There is a word in Greek for that, deiknumi/deiknuo (showing, proving; it appears in James 2:18). If we could make the command on our soul (to forgive…presumably the same sin committed against us SEVEN times in the same day) be contingent upon a proving of genuine repentance…we would all rejoice. We would think it is a fair command to be asked to forgive someone who proves that they will never, ever, ever, ever, ever, and I mean ever….commit the same sin–correct? Imagine…we could withhold granting forgiveness, we could protect ourselves from further harm, we could make the perpetrator feel the burn for a while…AND…we could even give ourselves a little self-therapy…ALL BEFORE we ever had to grant forgiveness. How sweet would that be? How reasonable would Jesus’ command be?
BUT…Jesus did not say “proving.” Jesus said “saying” (Greek: lego). Luke wrote (under the superintendence of the Holy Spirit) the word “saying.”
You mean to tell me…that after committing the same sin six times against me in the same day that I am to grant forgiveness at the SAYING, “I repent”?
You have got to be kidding me…! What kind of God would ask that of me? Who would ever actually be foolish enough to do it at the saying?
Perhaps…that is precisely the point. Perhaps God is pressing you exactly at the point you’re least likely to trust Him…?
…at any rate beloved…the word Jesus said is “saying.”
Will you trust Him…enough to obey Him?
…and oh, what if Jesus lived how you want to live? What if Jesus had said to God, His Father, “I will only forgive them if they prove that they will never, ever, ever, ever, and I mean ever…sin against Me again.” May God forbid the thought.
He, Jesus, is amazing isn’t He?
10,000 Blessings in THE Wonderful Counselor,