18:1-35. DISCIPLESHIP. LITTLE CHILD.
1-6. Instruction. Humility.
7-9. Offenses. One's self.
10-14. Instruction. Humility.
15-20. Offenses. Brethren.
21,22. Instruction. Forgiveness.
Matthew 18:1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
(I.e. which one of us is going to be the greatest?
The whole state of affairs of mankind living on the earth, is based on positions of standing. Whether in government, the church and even within our family. We are going to learn four lessons in this chapter, the first lesson is to be humble, and stay in the low places, and be ready to serve when you are called upon by God. In the Millennium age there are many that consider themselves authorities in Scripture, and deserve the high places, yet they will find themselves in the children's area of teaching, so to speak. We must learn that it is God's Word that does the teaching, and not man's word.
The second lesson taught here is to be patient with our neighbor. Don't be a busybody with the neighbor.
The third lesson is that we are not to take advantage, or scandalize a weak brother. Learn patience when dealing with others, especially those that claim the name of Christ.
The fourth lesson is to correct that brother, or neighbor with love and compassion, when he is at fault, that Christ may be presented to him.)
2 And Jesus called a little child unto Him, and set him in the midst of them,
3 And said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
(When you teach a child a new thing that he is interested in, he will open his mind and accept whatever you say. His eyes light up, and the excitement of learning can be seen in his whole body. This child has one hundred percent faith in his father or mother, or whomever is teaching him. As the child listened, there wasn't a doubt in his mind as to the truth of the matter.
Friend, that is exactly what you have to do with Jesus, and the Word of God. Adults pretty much think that we know it all already, and that is a mistake. Regardless how much you think you know, there is so much more that you can be taught if you just put your mind to it. As you place God's Word into your mind, it becomes like a seed, and will grow. As you yield your mind to the Holy Spirit of God, His Spirit will take that seed of the Word, and make it bloom right there in your life.
That blossom of the truth of God's Word will not pass, but it will change your thinking process, the way that you think and reason, for it will set the standard for how you will look at other people and things that come into your life. So you must continually be as that child, when you read and study His Word, and be that receptive to learn and make it part of you.)
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.
(Our Lord Jesus Christ came to this earth in His First Advent as a baby. He came not as royalty, but born in a cave with the livestock. He came, born of a virgin girl, with the government out to kill Him, and to the degree that it would kill every child, just to get Jesus. You don't enter God's kingdom as the king, but through the servants door, and the matter of being elevated, depends on the type of servant you become.
Being promoted to positions of responsibility depends on your willingness to learn, and follow instruction, and get along with others. It also depends on your faithfulness in the little things, and doing those things in the name of the King [our Heavenly Father]. "Humble" means that our Father gets the credit for what you do, not you, for all good things comes from the Father. The only reason you are in that kingdom, is because His Son paid the price. You came with nothing, you have nothing, and every good morsel that comes your way is credited to where it belongs, our Heavenly Father, in the name of our Savior Jesus Christ.
That is how you enter the kingdom of heaven, as a child. You come humble as a child, and ready to learn, and sorry for those things you do wrong. As you learn to give God the praise and glory, in Christ's name, He will promote you to the job He knows you can handle, and that He can depend on you doing right.)
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth Me.
(The Holy Spirit is there.
When you do this act of letting Him come into your life, then Christianity stops being a form of religious practice, and it becomes life, it becomes the reality of real life and that is life filled with Christ, and directed by His Holy Spirit.)
6 But whoso shall offend
(Gr. skandalon. Trigger that closes the snare-trap. See Rom. 11:8-12)
one of these little ones which believe in Me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
(See Rev. 18:17.
When one truly believes the Father, as a child in understanding, and you cause them to fall in your judgmental ways, you will be treated very harshly by the Almighty Father on Judgment day. When you realize what you have done, it is time to repent to the Father, and to the babe in Christ. This is not a matter to play games with.)
7 Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
(See skandalon note above.
The troubles of the world will trip up everyone at one time or another, they will come because that is the way the world is and the nature of man. This is directed to those that place temptation in the path of another child of God, that this person would fall. Satan loves it when we take our freedoms that we have in Christ, and place it in the path of that child in the Lord that just can't handle it.
Though our conscience gives us certain freedoms, those freedoms can be stumbling blocks in the path of another person, and that offence can become the reason that a child in the Lord, (regardless of his or her age), turn away from Christ.)
8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee,
(Not lit. you hands or feet, but what you do with them, i.e. spreading false teachings)
cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life
(I.e. resurrection life, or eternal life)
halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
(See 5:22. Mark 9:47. The hands, feet represent the many membered body of Christ. Git rid of false churches, have a single vision.)
10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto 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 How think ye?
(This parable was repeated later, in another connection. See Luke 15:4, &c.)
if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh 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, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, 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 heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
(This doesn't mean that one of them won't, because the choice is up to all those with free will, but it is the Father's will that none of them would. We are reminded of this in II Peter 3:9; "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance." That means that God has lots of patience, He has been waiting on you, and will continue; however there is a time coming when it will be just to late.)
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
(Don't allow your problems to become the gossip of the church, or the neighborhood. When problems come up between you and your neighbor, or brother then go to him at once. Settle the problem if it is possible, then you still have him as a friend. Most problems that exist in families and groups exist because of a lack of communication, or the willingness to forgive another.
If the brother is in the ministry, or the brother that loves the Lord, he should listen to what you have to say. However, many that say they are in the Lord, refuse to follow the instructions that Christ teaches. When this practice is followed, there will be very few times that it would need to end up in court.)
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
(Deut. 19:15. Cp. John 8:17)
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
(Some people are just to crude to act properly. They are not the same as you, in the Lord, and their center in life are the same as the heathen. Don't cater to them, but treat them at arms length. Don't trust them, or get to close to them. Then, when a matter comes up between you and that person, after making a simple attempt to settle difference, after that person refuses to allow an arbitrator from within the church, go right to legal counsel.
This is Christ teaching on matters between members of the body of Christ. Those outside the body of Christ are not part of this instruction. When this happens you set yourself apart from that person, and if it is your blood brother, you do the same. Don't treat that person as an enemy, but as a brother that you just don't care to be around, until the matter is tended to.)
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
(If you are a man or woman of God, and you have the key to heaven, what you bind with that key in heaven is bound here on earth, as well as it is bound in heaven. This is directed to the binding between two or more parties, where they all are of the elect of God, love the Lord, and try to live and abide by the key, or the instructions of God in His Word.
This shows you the power that there is in the servants of the living God, one of God's elect. This then is an expansion on Matthew 16:19; "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven." If you have and teach those keys to David, then your angel has God's attention any time you are in need.)
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
(Many people misread their greed into this verse. There is a condition to the asking, and expecting those requests to be answered. The matter is addressing the disciples, and applies to the disciples of Christ, whether two thousand years ago, or today. This applies to those who disciplines themselves in the Word of God, to learn it and grow skilled in that Word.
Two individuals calling themselves Christians, yet desiring not to study God's Word, are not the two in agreement of this verse. They would be the "blind leading the blind", heading for the ditch, as we read in Matthew 15:14. If your agreement is not with one of Christ's disciples, then the promises of this verse do not apply to you. The condition is that, "if any two of you", you being disciples of Christ, agree and ask. The request is with God's work at heart, rather then trouble makers.)
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".
His name is Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and He is the Living Word of God, made flesh and came and dwelt amongst us. When you are gathered together in the Living Word, and claiming the promises from that Living Word, and having faith in Him, God will be with you by the dwelling of His Holy Spirit. When you are gathered together in His name, it means that you have repented, and are looking to study God's Word more in-depth.)
21 Then came Peter to Mim, and said, "Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?"
22 Jesus saith unto him, "I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
(Remember that the definition of "brother", is one either of the tribes of Israel, or our family members; and if that brother repents to you, you must forgive him. There is no exceptions to this. This applies to a neighbor also. The neighbor is the person not of Israel, and of another race, or peoples, and believes in Jesus Christ. You will forgive them also, and our patience extends to each of these.
To forgive someone requires repentance, and if they don't repent you are not bound to give the forgiveness. In the name of Christ, most all believers will not carry the grudge, but will forgive them in their heart, for the forgiveness will heal the barrier between the two of you, and give peace within your mind. This is only possible by the love that we have in Christ.
The forgiveness that is the hardest to give, is the forgiveness the God requires in forgiving ourselves. It is a lot easier to forgive others, but the difficulty comes because of our own vanity and pride, when inside we place ourselves a little higher then the next guy. The ease of forgiveness come with maturity in God's Word. This is why it is important to ask forgiveness, then forgive yourselves to have your prayers answered.)
23-34. OFFENSE. FELLOW-SERVANTS.
23-25. Action of King. Debt owing.
26. Appeal for delay. Granted.
27. Conduct. Compliance.
28. Action of Servant.
29. Appeal for delay. Refused.
30. Conduct. Non-compliance.
31. Action of Servant. Reported.
32,33. Appeals. Contrasted.
34. Conduct. Punished,
23 Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.
24 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
(One talent is seven hundred and fifty ounces of silver, in our current weights. Now multiply that by ten thousand to get what this servant shorted his master. This is well over a million dollars by our standards, and this is what was owed.)
25 But forasmuch as he had not 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.
(In other words, there was just no way to meet the obligation, and settle the account. This servant is just no good.
Remember that our subject in this parable is forgiveness. This person made not effort to pay any of it, so God sold him and everything that he had.)
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
(When worship takes place, then idolatry is practiced. This person saw that all was lost, and at the point of no return, he submits to the master in idolatry. Because God is the master in this parable, this man was not in idolatry, but is total submission to God, by his commitment.
This man is promising to pay back an amount when it is impossible to do so. This man is telling God that he will meet all parts of the obligation, and pay back every penny.
God doesn't want us to pay Him back, but to repent, and turn from that way we were in.)
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
(That king heard the repentance of the servant, and wrote off the entire amount. That servant didn't owe the master one cent. The master had compassion when he heard of the man's repentance. That is how God deals with His children. Though your sins may be great, and once you repent and worship Him, He forgives all things.
Forgiveness is the subject here, and Peter asked how often, and we saw that to be four hundred and ninty times a day. Now as to how much, Jesus is telling us, everything that is owed, once repented.)
28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest.
29 And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee 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.
In our day, this is called a double standard, and is quite common in our legal system. But it is not God's way of doing things. The lesson that Jesus is giving His disciples here, is be very careful what you ask God forgiveness for, For if you will not forgive your fellow man of the same, don't expect it of God. God is fair, and He is just.
It is hard to compare the difference between the forgiveness of sin, and the forgiveness of a debt, for only God can forgive sin, yet Jesus is using this to show us just how important it is for His disciples to forgive those that seek it from us.)
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
(Remember that this parable of forgiveness is part of the lessons given before. In verse ten Jesus told us that these young children in the Lord had angels assigned to them in heaven, to report to the face of God. They were to tell all the problems that God's new born in the Lord faced.
Now apply that to this verse, this fellowservants was given a hard time and wicked deed by the servant that was forgiven, and the angels went directly to the king, and reported the treatment to Him. This parable is with the king in heaven, and the servants are ones that call themselves Christian. We are not discussing the heathen, but the actions and forgiveness between two servants of the same master, our Heavenly Father.
In the world today this is as it also is, for God knows what is going on, and all reveange is the Lords. God has His ways of making all things right.)
32 Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, 'O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:
33 Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?'
34 And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
("The tormentors" in today's terminology is called evil spirits. The torments of the jailers that can make your life miserable today.)
35 So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses."
(This is after repentance that you are bound to forgive him. If the person refuses to repent then you are not bound to forgive him. The forgiveness is a condition on the attitude of the one that did the harm, and this is why we see judges of today go much harder of those who refuse to have a repentive heart.
God does not require you to have a bleeding heart over one that does you wrong, and then tries to run from it. God set his standards for those call themselves Christians, and the pattern of our lives is spelled out in His Word. When the other person is Christian, and has wronged us, This chapter has set the guidelines of how we are to deal with that person. We are not talking about the unsaved here, but only those that call themselves disciples of Christ.
The compassion comes after repentance by the one that did the wrong. When we do it all God's way, then when we ask of Him in prayer, Our Lord will answer our prayer, and we can expect it.)