The Magic Number

Everything seems to have a magic number.

In certain sports, the magic number is a number used to indicate how close a front-running team is to clinching a season title.

In computer speak, the magic number could mean “a constant numerical or text value used to identify a file format or protocol”.

In nuclear physics, the magic number is a number of nucleons (either protons or neutrons) that it takes to form complete shells within the atomic nucleus making the atom more stable.

In mathematics, the digital root is often known as the magic number.

Jesus taught about a magic number (although there is nothing mystical or magical about it).  Can you guess the number? 

The magic number is… 490.

Doesn’t look or feel like a magic number, does it? 

Dick Innes, in his book, You Can’t Fly with a Broken Wing, writes of this magic number as “seven times seventy”, which totals 490.

This number comes from an encounter Jesus had with Peter when Peter said to Jesus in Matthew 18:21, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”  Jesus responded by saying, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Jesus is teaching us that we should be willing to forgive someone an infinite number of times.  Basically, we forgive whenever someone needs to be forgiven. 

Think of someone in your life right now that you need to forgive.  What’s holding you back?  Perhaps, you have forgiven them for the same or similar offense multiple times already.  Well, think of the magic number.   Are you there yet?  Probably not. 

Ask the Lord to help you forgive this person and think of this verse.  “Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”  Ephesians 4:32

Something to think about…