Those are truly great who are truly humble and good, and God is pleased with those who multiply their pardons of others, even as they have many times been pardoned by Him.
1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
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.
4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
6 But whoso shall offend 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.
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!
8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into 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.
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.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? 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?
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.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
21 ¶ Then came Peter to him, 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.
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.
25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
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.
31 So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
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.
35 So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
Matthew 18:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 18:4-10 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 18:11-20 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 18:21-35 – J. Vernon McGee
Matthew 18:1-9 – Removing Stumbling-Blocks
Our Lord’s transfiguration suggested that the time to take up His Kingdom was near; and the Apostles began to arrange their plans. The Master therefore used a child for His text and preached a sermon on humility. We must not be childish, but childlike. See I Corinthians 13:11. The beauty of a little child is its unconsciousness, humility, simplicity, and faith. Christ’s kingdom abounds with the rare blending of the warrior and the child. See II Kings 5:14. God’s best gifts are placed, not on a high shelf for us to reach up to, but on a low one to which we must stoop.
An offence is anything that makes the path of a holy and useful life more difficult for others. Be sure, in all your actions, to consider the weaker ones who are watching and following you. “Father,” said a boy, “take the safe path; I am coming.” A man, whose arm was caught in a machine, saved his boy from being drawn in by severing the arm with a hatchet. All that hurts us or others, however precious, must be severed. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 18:10-20 – Saving the Straying
How tenderly the Master speaks of the children! We must turn back to become like them, Matthew 18:3. To cause them to stumble is to incur terrible penalties, Matthew 18:6. Not one of them is to be despised, Matthew 18:10. Each has an angel from the Father’s presence chamber—one of the most exalted—to take charge of him, Matthew 18:10. To seek and to save one of these, the Good Shepherd is prepared to traverse the mountain paths, Matthew 18:12. It is not the Father’s will that one should perish.
When we have sinned against our brother, we must seek him out and be reconciled. See Matthew 5:23-24. But when our brother has sinned against us, we are to make three efforts before we give him up as hopeless. It is the presence of Jesus with His people that brings them into unison with the unseen world, so that their decisions and prayers are simultaneous with the divine mind. The Advocate-Paraclete in our hearts is at one with the Advocate-Paraclete on the throne, John 14:16. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Matthew 18:15—Go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.
“Where is thy brother, child?”
“I do not know, Lord; I have not seen or spoken to him these many days; and, as far as I am concerned, I would not mind if I never saw him again; he is as good as lost to me.”
“Hast thou wronged him, that this gulf has yawned between you? Remember that I said, if on coming to the altar, thou shouldest remember that thy brother hath some complaint against thee, thou wert to leave thy gift, and seek to be reconciled; then return to often thy gift.”
“Yes, Lord, I remember well. But that is not the case now; my brother has nothing against me; he is in the wrong, not I; he has trespassed against me, not I against him. It is therefore for him to come to me, not for me to go to him.”
“Is it likely that he will come to thee?”
“I do not think it is, Lord. He is not one of thy disciples; and it is most unlikely that he will ever cross my threshold to apologize and ask forgiveness.”
“Then thou must go to him, and tell him his fault between thee and him alone, and do thy best to win him back.”
“But I think he is most likely to put the wrong construction on my going, and to account that I feel myself in the wrong.”
“Thou art thy brother’s keeper, and thou must win him out of his fault, and lovelessness, and wandering. He is drifting away—not from thee only, but from Me. I know he was in the wrong at first; but thou art in the wrong now, and thou must go and tell him his fault, and try to wash his feet and win him back.” —Our Daily Homily
Matthew 18:21-35 – Forgiven yet Unforgiving
Seventy times seven is illimitable forgiveness. These numbers denote the perfection of perfection; and if God asks so much of us, what is He not prepared to do! Despair of yourself, but never despair of God’s forgiving mercy! The cause of soul-ruin is not sin, but the unbelief that thinks sin too great to be forgiven.
The difference between the two amounts of debt named in the parable sets forth the vast difference between our indebtedness to man and to God; and the free pardon of the king teaches us that God desires not only to forgive us, but to wipe out all memory of our sins. We could never pay all, but God will forgive all. Yet, notice that this servant forfeited the king’s pardon, so that it ceased to operate. Similarly we may shut ourselves out of the benefits of Christ’s death—though it has reconciled the world unto God—by an unforgiving and merciless spirit. —Through the Bible Day by Day