How Many Times?

Peter woke up that morning boiling in anger against what Jude had done to him. He has been keeping records and Jude had done much more than he could take. According to the law, he was supposed to hold his cool for as much as three times but he had succeeded in holding his cool for seven times.

He looked himself in the mirror, complimented himself for having such control over his emotions and hit his chest in satisfaction. He had surpassed the requirement of the law and he needed a commendation from Jesus but not just a commendation, he also needed justification and go ahead order from Jesus to deal with Jude and teach him the lesson of his life.

That afternoon, he had waited for Jesus to finish a session of his teachings when he walked up to Jesus and said “Lord, how many times should someone offend me before I lose my cool? Seven times right?”

He was waiting and expecting that Jesus would hail him for crossing the boundaries of the law! This would be more reason to brag and showcase seniority among the disciples of Jesus. He had gotten a word earlier by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit where he said concerning Jesus “you are the Christ, the son of the Living God”.

Nobody had been able to grasp that truth except him who got it by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps, another feather would be added to his cap this afternoon. Then Jesus, pretending not to have understood him said: “would you mind asking your question again?”

“Lord” he called respectfully, “tell me, my Lord, how much of my brother’s offence should I condone before finally losing my cool… ‘Cos, right now, I am losing it.”

Jesus smiled, held Peter on his shoulder and said: “It’s okay to lose your cool as long as your brother has offended you for seventy times multiplied by seven…”

“Excuse me…” Peter stammered “Lord, you mean…”

Jesus cuts in with striking smiles on his face “I mean that you shouldn’t lose your cool if your brother hasn’t offended you for seventy times seven”

He felt like saying “But Lord, he defamed me!” And he would hear Jesus said in his inner man “forgive!” Then he thought “but Lord, he insulted me and called me names!” And he would hear Jesus say “forgive!” Should he list it all out, one answer would be enough, “forgive.”

Peter looked disappointed realizing he had a long way to go. He understood Jesus well, he was simply saying “you really don’t ever have to lose your cool and when you do, you should know it’s not supposed.” He decided he was simply going to do his best to keep his cool and that was it.

Prior to that time, Peter has laid down plans on how to deal with that good for nothing fellow but being a man under authority, he simply kept his cool than having Jesus read about his fight from the news.

Peter wasn’t such a guy who always had his cool. During the arrest of Jesus, he was willing to go all bloody! He always had his sword with him and had slashed out the ear of Malchus which Jesus healed and rebuked Peter from going further with it.

Later on, when he had graduated from discipleship, Peter would instruct his audience encouraging them to live like Jesus. He wrote thus

“To this, you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.”

Over to you. What’s that offence that you’ve been putting up a list for? Perhaps, this is the time to realize you don’t have to keep counts. Should you ever lose your cool? Realize yourself and say to yourself “I am bigger and better than this.”

The end.

This story includes many fictitious scenes based on a true story.

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