Well, this is an interesting verse, especially when comparing Luke’s version with Matthew’s. There are some surprises in the midst of the comparison.
Some leading questions:
- Why does Matthew refer to debts and Luke refer to sins?
- Is Jesus just talking about financial debts?
- What relationship do financial debts have to sins?
- Are you serious? Do my financial debts have something to do with God forgiving my sins?
- I have heard that “forgiveness” is a financial term that just relates to financial matters? Is that true?
- Is it true that God won’t forgive my sins if I don’t forgive others their sins / debts against me?
- Is this related to the parable of servant who wouldn’t forgive his fellow servant his debt (Matthew 18:23-35)?
- Why does Luke have the present tense in relation to our forgiveness of others whereas Matthew has the perfect tense? Is that significant?
- “Ian, can you explain the meaning of this passage?”
Not yet. I have pointed out the issues you have to deal with in this passage and so now I will leave you for a day to look at it for yourself.
See what you can make of it using all the means at your disposal. As I have said many times before, my purpose in these Bible Gems is not just to point out the sparkling Gems in the Bible but also to give you the tools to do it for yourself.
See you back here next Gem. Oh and don’t forget to work on your end of the deal. Notice this is the only element of the Lord’s Prayer that has a condition attached.
It is easier to complain about a fault or wrongdoing than forgive one.Anon
Christmas gift suggestions:
For your enemy, forgiveness. For an opponent, tolerance. For a friend, your heart. For a customer, service. For all, charity. For every child, a good example. For yourself, respect. (Well the principles of Christmas should be applied throughout the year.)Ian Vail
We all make mistakes. The wise admit and learn from them. The insecure deny them. The foolish repeat them. The godly forgive them.Rick Warren
A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.Ruth Bell Graham