- The Sixth Forgiveness Saying
- Adonai is gracious, generous and merciful to all
- Our acts of charity can help others enter into a state of blessedness
- The business of facilitating an enlarged and elongated life
- The greatest good anyone could ever hope to do for another
- We are to exercise empathy and compassion for the suffering of others
- If we forgive those who trespass against us, we will be forgiven
- Our sins are taken up and carried away
- Who is Like Adonai?
- Adonai’s greatest reward is for us to be restored to ‘His’ Likeness
- The measure of forgiveness that we give is the measure that “we” will receive
- Summary of the first Six Forgiveness Sayings of Messiah
The Sixth Forgiveness Saying:
אֲבָל אֶהֱבוּ אֶת־אֹיְבֵיכֶם וְהֵיטִיבוּ וְהַלְווּ וְאַל תְּצַפּוּ לְתַשְׁלוּם וִיהִי שְׂכַרְכֶם רַב וִהְיִיתֶם בְּנֵי עֶלְיוֹן כִּי טוֹב הוּא גַּם־לִכְפוּיֵי טוֹבָה וְלָרָעִים׃ לָכֵן הֱיוּ רַחֲמָנִים כַּאֲשֶׁר גַּם־אֲבִיכֶם רַחוּם הוּא׃ וְאַל־תִּשְׁפְּטוּ וְלֹא תִשָּׁפֵטוּ אַל־תְּחַיְּבוּ וְלֹא תְחֻיָּבוּ נַקּוּ וְתִנָּקוּ׃ תְּנוּ וְתִנָּתֵן לָכֶם וּמִדָּה יָפָה דְּחוּקָה וּגְדוּשָׁה וּמֻשְׁפָּעָה יָשִׁיבוּ אֶל־חֵיקְכֶם כִּי בַמִּדָּה אֲשֶׁר אַתֶּם מוֹדֲדִים יִמַּד לָכֶם׃
Forgive and you will be forgiven:
“But love your enemies. Do good and lend, and do not anticipate being paid (hoping for something in return). Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Highest, because He is good also to those who are to ungrateful and evil (literally, “those on whom goodness is upset and who are evil”). Therefore be compassionate (merciful), just as your Father is compassionate (merciful). Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. Do not hold others liable (condemn them), and you will not be held liable (be condemned). Acquit (forgive) and you will be acquitted (forgiven). Give, and it will be given to you; they* will return to your lap a beautiful measure, pressed (down), crammed full (shaken together), and overflowing. For with the same measure that you use to measure, it will be measured (back) to you” (cf. Lukas 6:35-38).
*”Adonai.” (In Hebrew, the third-person plural without a precedent is an indirect way of referring to HaShem or to the Proceedings of the Heavenly Court.)
Adonai is gracious, generous and merciful to all:
The Sixth Forgiveness Saying of Messiah teaches us that Adonai is loving and merciful toward all. He is gracious, generous and merciful even to those who are His enemies. In Mattai 5:43-46 Yeshua deconstructs the popular saying of His day, “You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.” He replaces this saying with (a far more gracious alternative): “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven, for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust.”
Our acts of charity can help others enter into a state of blessedness:
The Hebrew word for bless here is “barak” (to bless). In the Greek version of the Tanakh the word used convey the meaning of the Hebrew word barak is eulogemenos. This means that the word bless indicates that one will both speak and act in the interests of others. For Adonai “speaking” and “acting” are both one thing. Benevolent intent, acted out on behalf of another, seeks and pursues more than the end of doing a kind, merciful, and good act for the person. It is the supreme hope of the Master that acts of charity and goodwill (Tzedakah) will culminate in more persons entering into a permanent state of blessing. The Hebrew word for this desired state is ‘esher. This word is only used in the plural. Twenty-five of its forty-four occurrences in the Tanakh appear in the Psalms: Psalm. As stated before in the Scriptures the number twenty-five is symbolic of a multiplied fullness of grace.
The business of facilitating an enlarged and elongated life:
Psalm 1 describes the Ashrei-Man (אַ֥שְֽׁרֵי־הָאִ֗ישׁ) who illustrates best what the person with the most blessed life looks like (cf. Messiah in HaBikkurim, Chapter 70). We see in the life of the Ashrei-Man a picture of how the sons of the Most High G-d (בני אל-עליון-b’nei El-Elyon) are to be about our heavenly Father’s business:
Objective #1. We are to facilitate the spiritual and practical enlargement and elongation of our life and the lives of others.
Objective #2. We are to be a blessing to the lives of those who are our friends; those who do us good.
Objective #3. We are also to be a blessing, act in a virtuous (productive; fruitful) manner toward our enemies; those who do us harm. Therefore, as sons of the Most High G-d we are to do everything we can to pursue shalom with everyone; the wicked as well as the righteous.
The greatest good anyone could ever hope to do for another:
The greatest proportion of good (blessing) anyone could ever hope to do for another is to lead him or her into a blessed relationship with the heavenly Father through exercising trust in His Chosen One, the Messiah (cf. Psalm 1 &2). Helping others to become reconciled to Avinu Shebashamayim (the heavenly Father) by becoming followers of the Messiah (the Ashrei-Man) is the most desirable blessing (barak) one can ever hope to bestow upon another.
We are to exercise empathy and compassion for the suffering of others:
Living a life like the Master, therefore, in blessed speech and conduct (Hebrew: barak and Greek: eulogemenos) and character (‘esher), is exactly what is being addressed in the third Jewish Gospel narrative (Lukas 6:35-38).
Blessed Character #1. The Messiah, our Ashrei-Man, is teaching us to avoid engaging in hypocritical and condemning behavior that arises out of a self-righteous attitude and not true discernment (i.e. “Judge not”).
Blessed Character #2. Those who follow the Master are expected to help others economically; without receiving anything in return.
Blessed Character #3. We are to be merciful (Hebrew, Rachum-רַחוּם). This means we are to exercise empathy and compassion for the afflictions and sufferings of others.
If we forgive those who trespass against us, we will be forgiven:
Acquit and you will be acquitted!
This is a legal phrase indicating action similar to what one would expect to find in a court of law. The Hebrew word used for acquit and acquitted (forgive and be forgiven) is nakah (נָקָה), it literally meaning to be “clear,” “pure,” and “free;” to hold “innocent” and “unpunished.” This legal term indicates the act of “pardon” where one dismisses charges or obligations against someone else. The generous context in Lukas indicates, in spite of the factual evidence that the offending party is guilty, that the offended party dismisses charges, releases the person from any claim, sets at liberty the person, lets the person go completely free without incurring any legal restraints or having any obligation put upon him.
Our sins are taken up and carried away:
In the Tanakh there are three other Hebrew words which are translated as “pardon”, “pardoned” “forgive.” These are kaphar (כָּפַר), “nasa” (נָשָׂא) and “salach” (סָלַח).
Word #1. Kaphar is a Hebrew word you you are likely to already be very familiar with. It is the word that means to cover, purge, make an “atonement,” and make “reconciliation.”
Word #2. Nasa means the taking away, forgiveness or pardon of sin, iniquity and transgression. Sin can be forgiven and forgotten, because it is taken up and carried away.
Word #3. Salach is used of Adonai’s offer of pardon and forgiveness to the sinner. Never does this word in any of its forms refer to people forgiving each other.
Who is Like Adonai?
The prophet Micah (מִיכָה-meaning, “Who is Like Adonai?”) speaks of this when he says (Micah 7:18-19): “Who is a Mighty One like you, pardoning iniquity and passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, and will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.” Micah reveals that no one has a character so willing to pardon wickedness done against one’s self or others, as what Adonai has. Adonai delights in mercy. He enjoys the practice of administering mercy and teaching others to do the same. Adonai is generous in His mercy. He does not pardon our sins in a begrudging way. How far is Adonai willing to go in His enthusiasm for doing mercy? He completely removes our sins from us: He figuratively hurls them into the “depths of the sea.”
Adonai’s greatest reward is for us to be restored to ‘His’ Likeness:
The Messiah promises that generosity in this manner— where one dismisses charges or obligations against someone else—along with generosity in all other matters of human relationship (loving enemies, doing good, lending, without expectation of return, being kind, merciful, non-judging, and non-condemning), will result in Adonai’s great reward!
The measure of forgiveness that we give is the measure that “we” will receive:
The law of the kingdom of Heaven is one of “proportionality:” that the measure of Adonai’s blessing upon a person is dependent upon the person’s measure of giving. Therefore, if there is no limit to your generosity to others, then there is no limit to Adonai’s generosity to you.
Summary of the first Six Forgiveness Sayings of Messiah:
So what have we learned through the first six of the Ten Forgiveness Sayings of Messiah?
Forgiveness Saying #1. Only Adonai can forgive sins and He can forgive whomever He wants, whenever He wants, wherever He wants, through whomever He wants. And it is the will of Adonai that we receive cleansing for sin and the gift of eternal life through our exercising faith in the Person, Words and Spirit of the Messiah, Adonai’s Beloved Son (Beni Yedidi).
Forgiveness Saying #2. Adonai will forgive the sins of anyone who “hears” and “understands” and “obeys” His Voice that is spoken (by Him) through the Word of His Beloved Son, Ha-Mashiach Yeshua.
Forgiveness Saying #3. In the kingdom of Adonai forgiveness is a compulsory act. Those who fail to show mercy to others will be shown no mercy by Adonai. If one does not forgive his brother from his heart then Adonai will be moved in anger to turn him over to Judgment. Divine Forgiveness or Judgment? The decision is entirely up to you and me.
Forgiveness Saying #4. The entire testimony of the first Jewish besorah is anchored on one direct quote of Messiah from one scripture fragment in the Tanakh. The Message of Messiah the King thus far is that the people of Israel have ‘eyes to see and ears to hear but they (we, as a nation) do not see or hear.’
Forgiveness Saying #5. Where does forgiveness end and the practice of not-forgiving begin? The incredible answer is that as long as the offender sincerely repents there is no limit to how many times we are required to forgive. If we want unlimited mercy, forgiveness and favor from Adonai then we must grant unlimited mercy, forgiveness and favor to others. Otherwise, we will receive from Adonai exactly the same measure of limited mercy, forgiveness, and favor that we have measured out (given) to others.
Forgiveness Saying #6. Does the practice of unlimited forgiveness required by Adonai also require voluntary forfeiture of one’s legal right to compensation for debt-repayment and/or damages? Remarkably the answer is “Yes!” The judgment of the Messiah HaShofet is that if we want all of the charges or obligations against us “pardoned,” then in the same measure we must dismiss all charges, release all claims, and set at liberty anyone who has, is or possibly could be legally “restrained” by us.