This is a theme that Jesus will return to in the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew; see 6:14 and 7:1.
Again Jesus is reaffirming the law as laid down in the Hebrew bible and is, as one commentator suggested, a “principle of reciprocity”. It is echoed so often in Jesus’ teaching and is part of his promises of the very nature of the Kingdom of God.
In the Lord’s Prayer we repeat reciprocity when we ask God to forgive our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. We are asking God for mercy if we in turn demonstrate mercy to those who hurt us. It is one of the hardest things we have to do.
This Lent try praying by repeating the word mercy and ask God to instill in our hearts that very spirit that will bring us closer to the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Reverend Deacon Roderick McDowell, St. Paul’s Fort Erie.