THE DISCIPLES PRAYER
Matthew 6:12 and Luke 11:4
In Matthew 6:12 we see that Jesus teaches His disciples to pray, “and forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” Luke 11:4 cites the same message in these words: “and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.” i.e. that have transgressed against us.
The “debt” mentioned is the “debt of sin” or a moral or ethical failure. It also means a debt, as in owing money (pecuniarily).
In Matthew, the English word “debts” is the Greek word “opheilema” which means “something owed (or due) such as a moral (sin) fault or monetary debt. The word “debtors” is the Greek word “opheiletes” which is an “ower” indebted as a “moral (or ethical) transgressor” or a “sinner,” one who has sinned against us or owes us monetarily.
In Luke’s account it says, “and forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone that is indebted to us.” “Sins” is the Greek “hamartia” which means an offense (sin). It comes from the Greek root word “hamartano” which means “to miss the mark,” to “sin,” or “to trespass against.” The word “indebted” is the Greek word “opheileo” which indicates to be under obligation due to a moral failure in duty or owe a monetary debt.
This meaning of an offense is further documented by the two verses in Matthew 6:14-15 in which Jesus states to them, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses (against you), your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (moral failures, sin, offenses, monetary debt).
That shows just how critical it is for us to forgive anyone who has ever wronged us in any way. Would it really be worth holding feelings against someone (no matter how small or how great the harm) if it means going to hell for it? Think about that.
I have heard people adamantly declare “I cannot forgive them!” Are they not in mortal danger?
I urge you today that if you are holding anything against someone, please do this:
1. Forgive them, in person if possible, or verbally in prayer to God if “in person” is literally impossible due to their death or a great difference in distance.
2. Ask God to forgive you for having held such feelings.
3. Let it go completely.
If you still cannot forgive, ask God to give you a special grace (His favor) to enable you. It actually will release you from a bondage of which you may not have even been aware. It will restore a peace to you that you may or may not have realized you have lost.
May God’s grace be unto you for your “daily bread” and the peace of Christ that comes with the word and forgiveness.
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