Read Matthew 18 - 20
In Today's Reading:
Humility; the lost sheep; forgiveness; marriage and divorce; rich young ruler; workers in the vineyard; two blind men healed
Peter asked a far more important question than he realized when he inquired of Jesus: Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Jesus said to him, I say not to you, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven (Matthew 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 every day for a lifetime is a fatal sin He has warned: If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (6:15).
The Lord gave an illustration of a servant who owed ten thousand talents to his king (18:24). The amount was impossible to repay even in a lifetime. The servant therefore fell down, and worshiped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you 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 fellow servants, which owed him a hundred pence (mere pennies compared to 10,000 talents): and he laid hands on him . . . saying, Pay me what you owe. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you 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 angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to him. So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also to you, if you from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses (18:31-35).
When the fear of God is considered, we find it much easier to forgive others. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake has forgiven you (Ephesians 4:31-32; also Matthew 6:14-15).
18:6 offend = cause to sin; 19:14 suffer = to permit; 20:3 third hour = 9 a.m.; 20:11 goodman = a male head of a household; it does not refer to a man's goodness; 20:15 Is thine eye evil? = Are you begrudging, jealous, or envious?; 20:26 minister = servant.
For Matthew 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. 5:17-20. Matt. 19:19: See Ex. 20:12; Lev. 19:18; Deut. 5:16.
Pray for BP Staff: George Church · Government Officials: Gov. Craig Benson (NH) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) · Country: Tajikistan (6 million) southeast central Asia · Major languages: Tajik and Russian · Almost entirely Muslim · 82% Muslim; 4% Russian Orthodox · Prayer Suggestion: Sing praises to the Lord (Exodus 15:1-19).
Memory Verse for the Week: I Corinthians 1:18