Peter (looking at Jesus): What if I didn’t pay for my drink?
Jesus (smiling): You’d be in trouble, but I’d forgive you.
Andrew: What if I lied on my income taxes?
Jesus (shaking his head): I’d forgive you, too.
Peter: What if I cheated on my wife?
Jesus (raised eyebrows): I’d forgive you.
Andrew: What if punched Peter in the face?
Jesus (still smiling): I’d forgive you.
Peter (shoving Andrew): What if I threw Andrew off a cliff?
Jesus: I’d be sad, but I’d forgive you. Here’s the deal: Whatever the crime, I’m lettin’ you know I’ll forgive you ahead of time. The Father and I love you unconditionally.
Andrew: Isn’t that dangerous? We could go do whatever we wanted and then come back knowing you’d accept us and forgive us and everything would be fine.
Peter: Yeah, What’s the point of the rules if we know in advance we can get away with anything? You ARE saying we can get away with anything, right?
Jesus: Yep. And see, everything would be fine…but you’d know it could be better. That’s the whole thing. I want you to see what you’re REALLY like. It’s like watching people when they think no one is looking. My forgiveness produces the ‘no one’s looking’ context. It makes you choose between, ‘Can I get away with this?, or ‘Should I want to get away with this?’ If you go ahead and do something you KNOW I don’t like, you HAVE to ask yourself, what kind of love is that?!
Andrew: Of course, you’re right. As usual. When our love is transparent, others’ actions also become transparent.
Jesus: Ahh, Andrew. Yes. Unconditional love requires grace, mercy and sacrifice, but yields pure love. The Father and I bring you love and life, but it’s not in you, it’s in us because we are the ideal — we’re perfect. You do the will of those you really love.
Peter: Actually, your forgiveness is a little dangerous! It exposes bad love.
Jesus: The unforgivable sin is to not love others in this way — to be totally self-serving and self-consumed. People who can’t think beyond themselves act like god. I am the way, truth and life. No one comes to the Father, except my way — the way of love.
Peter: Jesus, I know you love that cinnamon coffee cake. Can I get you a piece? Rew, you want one?
Tr8: Love one another unconditionally. Live unconditionally.