Jesus is not in the condemning business. He takes the hands of those who have fallen, counsels them to health, and coaches against future hurt, pain, and abandonment. Jesus’ disciples failed miserably as students, always learning yet slow to arriving at the truth. It took them years to understand their role in relationship to Jesus’ mission.
Despite the fallen nature of humankind, Jesus extends grace to all, whether a close disciple or a member of the crowd. He encourages repentance and leaving behind destructive habits and worldly pursuits. Rather than wallowing in the bitter fruits of the offense or its punishment, he implores people to embrace forgiveness and, in turn, extend the same to others:
Then Peter came up and said to him,
“Lord, how often will my brother sin against me,
and I forgive him? As many as seven times?”
Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times,
but seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:21-22).
Jesus:The Communications Manager