I was reading Matthew as part of a Synoptics Gospel class I am taking. One of the things my instructor said was we often we read scripture through an individual lens. However, Matthew is meant to be read with a community lens. In other words when Jesus is saying you to the disciples he really means Ya’ all. In other words the community of disciples.
If you look at the bigger structure of Matthew the sermon on the mount is not commands to the disciples but they are rather an example of what Gods community should look like. Matthew went to to clarify and fulfill Jesus purpose and mission of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. A continual contrast of the the earthly kingdoms vs the disciples heaven on Earth continues to be contrasted in Matthew. Then later on Matthew discusses forgiveness.
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[a] who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![b]
The above reference was during Jesus’ discourse to his disciples about forgiving others that are a part of our Christian community. I can’t help but think the words of “I forgive” and going through just a “process of forgiveness” falls far short of living in an intimate community of discipleship with other Christians and far short of what I am reading in the book of Matthew. We often neglect the nuances and balance that the Synoptic Gospels offer us, neglecting the weightier matters of scripture for a more simplistic understanding and reading of the Gospels.
For me forgiveness is finally complete when I am back in intimate relationship in the community of believers and the ones I have wronged. Anything less is not what I read as Jesus’ message in Matthew.