O1 W1 1-6. Instruction. Humility. X1 7-9. Offenses. One's self. W2 10-14. Instruction. Humility. X2 15-20. Offenses. Brethren. W3 21,22. Instruction. Forgiveness. X3 23-34. Application.
1 In the same hour came the disciples to Jesus, saying, "Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of the heavens?" (i.i which one of us is going to be the greatest?)
2 And Jesus called a little child to Him, and set the child in the midst of them, (represents bring God's Word to this level)
3 And said, "Truly I say to you, Unless (lit. "if you be not". Assuming the possibility) you be turned (.i.e. to God in repentance), and become as little children, you shall by no means enter into the kingdom of the heavens.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child (not as this little child humbles himself, for no one but the Lord humbles Himself. Cp. Phil. 2:7,8), the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receives Me. (The Holy Spirit is there)
6 But whoso shall cause to offend one of these little ones which believe in Me (Gr. skandalon. Trigger that closer the snare-trap. See Rom. 11:8-12), it were better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck (here denoting a huge millstone requiring an ass to pull it), and that he were drowned in the deep sea. (See Rev. 18:17)
7 Woe to the world because of offenses! for it must needs be that offenses come; yet woe to that person by means of whom the offense come! (see skandalon note above)
8 Wherefore if your hand or your foot keep causing you to offend (not lit. you hands or feet, but what you do with them, i.e. spreading false teachings), cut them off, and cast them from you: it is good for you to enter into the life (i.e. resurrection life, or eternal life) lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9 And if your eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell (see 5:22. Mark 9:47) fire. (The hands, feet represent the many membered body of Christ. Git rid of false churches, have a single vision.)
10 Take heed that you despise not one of these little ones; for I say to you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. (As a servant of God, you are one of those little ones. At any time when you are in trouble your angel has God's attention, and help is on the way.)
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. (Why was Christ born in the flesh? He was sent to save that which is lost. This goes all the way back to the 1st earth age and the one-third that followed Satan. If you are in Christ, this is your purpose also.)
12 What do you think? (this parable was repeated later, in another connection. See Luke 15:4, &c.) if a man (the condition is not the same as in v.8, but is purely hypothetical = if there should be to any man) have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, does he not leave the ninety and nine, and goes into the mountains, and seeks that which is gone astray? (God's elect. As Christians, we should follow the example of Christ. Do you look for that one that has roamed from the truth? Actually, there are many that are lost. Anyone that doesn't understand the antichrist comes first is lost.)
13 And if so be that he find it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over it, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. (It isn't the will of the Father that even one of His children should perish [2 Peter 3:9]; however, some of them are so stubborn they will indeed perish. That is why Christ rejoices more over the one lost sheep that is found. That is what all who serve God should be doing. Help those who have gone astray with God's truth.)
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in the heavens, that one of these little ones should perish.
15 Moreover if your brother shall trespass against you, go and reprove him between you and him alone: if he shall hear you, you hast gained your brother.
16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that upon the mouth of two or three witnesses every statement may be established. (Deut. 19:15. Cp. John 8:17)
17 And if he shall fail to hear them, tell it to the assembly (in this case the synagogue, or local court, as in Acts 19:39): but if he neglect to hear the assembly, let him be to you as the Gentile man and a tax-collector.
18 Truly I say to you, Whatsoever you shall bind upon the earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say to you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as concerning any matter that they shall ask, it shall be done for them from My Father which is in the heavens.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. (It was believed that "were two are assembled to study the Law, the Shechinah was with them".)
21 Then came Peter to Him, and said, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
X3 Y1 v1 23-25. Action of King. Debt owing. w1 26. Appeal for delay. Granted. x1 27. Conduct. Compliance. Y2 v2 28. Action of Servant. w2 29. Appeal for delay. Refused. x2 30. Conduct. Non-compliance. Y3 v3 31. Action of Servant. Reported. w3 32,33. Appeals. Contrasted. x3 34. Conduct. Punished,
23 On account of this is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a man a king (a Hebraism), which wished to compare accounts with his servants.
24 And when he had begun to compare accounts, was brought to him, one which owed him ten thousand talents.
25 But inasmuch as he had nothing to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold (Ex. 22:3. Lev. 25:39,47), and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and did homage to him, saying, 'Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and released him, and forgave him the loan.
28 But the same servant went out, and sought and found one of his fellow-servants, which was owing him an hundred pence (about $1.70): and he seized him, and begat throttling, saying, 'Pay me what you owe.'
29 And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet, and kept beseeching him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.'
30 And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. (The Papyri show that this was a widespread Graeco-Roman-Egyptian custom.)
31 So when his fellow-servants saw what had taken place, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and narrated to their lord all that had taken place.
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said to him, 'O you wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you besought me:
33 Was it not binding on you also to have pitied on your fellow-servant, as I also had pity on you?
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors (or jailers), till he should pay all that was due to him.
35 So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts do not forgive every one his brother their trespasses.