In the Kairos program we focus a lot of attention on forgiveness. We do it for two reasons: 1] because in the Bible Jesus devotes a lot of attention to it; and 2] because in the prisons, there are a lot of people who really need it.
To bring this subject into focus: in Matthew 6:9-15, the Lord’s Prayer, forgiveness is a major point of the whole prayer. In verse 12, it says, “Forgive us our trespasses (sins, debts) as we forgive those who trespass against us.” And we usually think the prayer ends with verse 13, “And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom . .”
But that’s not really the end, because immediately, without taking a breath, Jesus adds, “If you forgive others their trespasses, then God will forgive you; but if you don’t forgive others, then He won’t forgive you.’ (Isn’t it interesting that He doesn’t make any comments about any other verses in the prayer, only about forgiveness.) Continue reading