Jesus continued teaching his students about leadership, emphasizing the importance of forgiveness & reconciliation (102).
“If a member of God’s family sins against you, discuss the matter with him privately. If he listens to you, you are on the road to reconciliation with that brother.
“But if he refuses to listen to you in your private conversation, then take one or two other brothers with you as neutral observers, and go to discuss the matter with him again.
“And if that does not bring resolution, and if the observers agree that your brother is at fault, then get your church leaders to intervene.
“And if he will not listen to the church leaders, then you should keep your distance from that brother.
“Keep your eyes on heaven. You must learn to forbid here on earth only what is forbidden in heaven. You must learn to allow here on earth only what is allowed in heaven.
“When it’s impossible to resolve a dispute with another member of God’s family all by yourself, get other family members involved. When two or three of you pray together about the matter, you’ll get a better grasp of God’s perspective.”
Then Peter asked Jesus, “Master, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times must I forgive him? Seven times?” To emphasize the essential importance of God’s command to forgive, even someone who repeatedly sins against you, Jesus answered, “No, not seven times, but seventy times seven!”
(102) Matthew 18:15-22