Well, it appears that forgiveness is a big deal to Jesus. A really big deal. Both here and in the sermon on the mount he essentially tells us that the degree to which we forgive others is equal to the degree to which we are forgiven. Jesus is deeply concerned with the way we relate to one another. It’s almost as though our relationship with one another is not only more important than our relationship with God but is so because it informs our relationship with God. And why not? Are we not all creations of God? Is it possible (and it is terrifying if it is) that our relationship with God can only be as strong and healthy as our relationships to one another is?
As a father, I can tell you that when my kids don’t get along, when they “sin against” each other, and treat each other unjustly, it affects my relationship with them. The wedge that exists between them extends to a wedge between them and me. I don’t know that it should do this, but it does. And likewise, when they do get along, it endears me to them and nothing blesses me more. Doesn’t it make sense that the same might be true of God Almighty? We are created in God’s image, that is, made to reflect God. The ugliness of our relational discord with one another is not an apt reflection of this God whom we claim to serve, strive to be like and indeed to whom we belong.
Do you want to get close to God? Do you want the Spirit of God to completely enfold you and begin working in you in ways you can’t even fathom? Do you want revival? Real revival? Maybe the path to vibrant spiritual connection is healthy relational connection. Maybe it’s simply to start loving each well, working toward reconciliation, and forgiving one another. End of story.