Read Matthew 18
The importance of helping and not hindering children (Matt. 18:3-10). Jesus' purpose in life: To save that which is lost (18:11-14). The importance of forgiving all offenses (18:21-35). Christ and divorce (19:3-12). The difficulty of being rich and entering heaven (19:16-30). By faith, we follow our King. With Jesus all things are possible (19:26). Laborers in His kingdom (20:1-16). Fortells His death and resurrection (20:17-19). Conduct of His followers and two blind men receive sight (20:17-34).
Peter asked a far more important question than he realized when he inquired of Jesus: Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matt. 18:21-22).
Peter thought he was being generous in suggesting seven times. This was twice as many times as required by the traditions of the scribes, plus one more, for a total of seven times. Unwillingness to forgive everyone of their sins against us while, at the same time, expecting Christ to forgive us of all our sins against Him everyday for a lifetime is, a fatal sin. He warned of the horrifying consequences of an unforgiving attitude: If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (6:15).
The Lord gives an illustration of a servant who owed ten thousand talents to his king (18:24). This huge debt was impossible to repay even in a lifetime. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed (released) him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence (mere pennies compared to 10,000 talents): and he laid hands on him . . . saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison (18:26-30). When his lord was made aware of what took place, he was wroth (angry), and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (18:34-35).
After we consider the fear of God, we find it much easier to forgive others. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you (Eph. 4:31-32; also Matt. 6:14-15).
Thought for Today:
For Thou art my hope, O Lord God: Thou art my trust from my youth (Ps. 71:5).
18:6 offend to wrong, cause to sin; 19:14 Suffer permit; 20:3 third hour about 9 a.m.; 20:11 murmured against the goodman of the house here indignant, critical with their employer; 20:15 Is thine eye evil? are you begrudging, jealous, or envious?; 20:26 minister servant.
For Matt. 18:16: See Deut. 19:15. Matt. 19:4: See Gen.1:27; 5:2. Matt. 19:5: See Gen. 2:24. Matt. 19:7: See Deut. 24:1-4. Matt. 19:18: See Ex. 20:13-16; Deut. 5:16-20. Matt. 19:19: See Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:18; Deut. 5:16.
Pray for international Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Officials: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) and Rep. Thomas Price (GA) • Country: Costa Rica (4 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Religious freedom is increasing • 90% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Pray and thank God for all His blessings (Ps. 68:19).
Memory Verse for the Week: James 5:10