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Bible Pathways - Oct. 8, 2008


October 8

Matthew 18

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Jesus continues teaching His message to the men who will carry His Word to the world,and just think, it still applies even up to today! (A) Have childlike faith (18:1-6). (B) Don't cause others to sin (18:7-9). (C) Don't despise a child of God (18:10-14). (D) Agree together in prayer (18:18-20); plus much more. It's very important to know.

The rabbis taught that one should forgive his neighbor who had offended him as many as three times. With this in mind, Peter thought himself to be far superior if his forgiveness was extended to seven offenses. The Savior's reply exposed Peter's attitude which was far from sufficient when compared with the mercy of God and His willingness to forgive us without limitation. It demonstrated that there was no forgiveness from God unless one's forgiving spirit is equally limitless.

The Lord's response was a parable of a king who discovered that one of his servants owed him ten thousand talents (18:24) — an amount far beyond his ability to pay in a lifetime. He begged for patience (18:26). The king was moved with compassion, and . . . forgave him (all) the debt (18:27). Leaving the king's presence, this same servant soon was confronted with another slave who owed him an hundred pence (100 days' pay) (18:28) which was an insignificant sum and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat. . . . and cast him into prison (18:28-30). Having heard this, his lord (the king) was wroth (18:31-34). He reversed his decision and delivered his servant to the prison and the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him (18:34). Then Jesus said: So likewise shall My Heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one . . . their trespasses (18:35).

The principle of forgiveness is based upon God's redeeming love, fully and freely granted in mercy and grace to undeserving sinners. The evidence of His forgiving work of grace in one's life will become apparent by one's response to the offenses of others. How insignificant are my brother's offences against me compared to my numberless sins against God?

True repentance toward God is inseparably associated with our attitude toward our fellowmen and cannot exist apart from our forgiving spirit (18:35). Jesus also said: I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven (5:44-45).

If ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:14-15).

Thought for Today:

We like to justify our own actions and condemn others for theirs. Let's fix our own faults first and then, with patience and prayer, help others.

Word Studies:

18:6 offend =b> cause to sin; 19:14 Suffer =b> Permit; 20:3 third hour =b> 9 a.m.; 20:11 murmured against the goodman of the house =b> were indignant with their employer; 20:15 Is thine eye evil? =b> Are you begrudging, jealous, or envious?; 20:26 minister =b> servant.

Cross References:

For Matthew 18:16: See Deuteronomy 19:15. Matthew 19:4: See Genesis 1:27; 5:2. Matthew 19:5: See Genesis 2:24. Matthew 19:7: See Deuteronomy 24:1-4. Matthew 19:18: See Exodus 20:13-16; Deuteronomy 5:17-20. Matthew 19:19: See Exodus 20:12; Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 5:16.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Charles & Josephine Van Boskirk • Radio Sri Lanka International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Mr. Edward Frank • Staff: Mike Moore • Government Officials: Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH) and Rep. Thomas Price (GA) • Country: Iran (66.2 million) in southwestern Asia • Major languages: Farsi and Turki • Hostile to all Christian activity • 87% Shi'a; 12% Sunni; .5% Baha'i; .4% Christian; .03% Jewish; .04% Parsi (Zoroastrian); .03% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Bless the Lord at all times regardless of circumstances (Psa. 34:1).

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 6:33

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