Matthew 18Who is the greatest? They still supposed that the Messiah was about to establish a kingdom of great temporal splendor; and they wished to know which of his followers were to be elevated to the highest stations in it. They did not bring this subject before Jesus of their own accord, but, as appears from Mark 9:33, 34, and Luke 9:46, 47, in answer to a question from the Savior, after having been privately discussing the question by themselves.
Be converted; be changed,—by laying aside such ambitious views, and becoming meek and lowly-minded like an humble and docile child.
This would seem, from Mark 9:42, to have been said in reply to a remark made by John, which is there given.—Offend; obstruct his course in seeking salvation.
Offences; inducements to sin, and hindrances to salvation.
Offend thee; lead thee to sin. The meaning is, that every enjoyment or indulgence which acts as an allurement to sin, must be resolutely rejected, at whatever sacrifice.—To enter into life halt or maimed; to be saved at last, after having endured suffering and privation here.
Little ones; humble, lowly Christians.—Their angels, &c. God, by means of the angels, or messengers that do his will, watches over and guards every one.
The special interest and compassion with which God regards the erring, the wretched, and the lost, are in these verses made the reason why the most humble of the followers of Jesus should be treated by others with tender consideration.
Thy brother; thy fellow-Christians.—Trespass against thee; injure thee in any way.
To hear them. This shows that one object of calling upon others, is to obtain their mediation and influence to heal the difficulty.
This language is understood in various ways, and with various limitations and restrictions by different commentators. There is great difficulty in ascertaining with certainty the meaning intended to be conveyed. The Roman Catholics found upon it a strong argument in favor of the high ecclesiastical authority with which they suppose the church to be clothed.—Any thing; of course any thing suitable or proper to be bestowed.
Peter's question refers to what Jesus had said v. 15.
Seventy times seven; that is, as many times as he may offend; the spirit of forgiveness must be inexhaustible.
Ten thousand talents; a very large sum of money.
Worshipped him; prostrated himself before him in token of submission and entreaty.
Loosed him; released him;
Tormentors; keepers of the prison, or other officers of justice.
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