Matthew 18* The importance of humility. (1-6) Caution against offences.(7-14) The removal of offences. (15-20) Conduct towardsbrethren, The parable of the unmerciful servant. (21-35)1-6 Christ spoke many words of his sufferings, but only one ofhis glory; yet the disciples fasten upon that, and overlook theothers. Many love to hear and speak of privileges and glory, whoare willing to pass by the thoughts of work and trouble. OurLord set a little child before them, solemnly assuring them,that unless they were converted and made like little children,they could not enter his kingdom. Children, when very young, donot desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, arefree from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent ontheir parents. It is true that they soon begin to show otherdispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age;but these are marks of childhood, and render them proper emblemsof the lowly minds of true Christians. Surely we need to bedaily renewed in the spirit of our minds, that we may becomesimple and humble, as little children, and willing to be theleast of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine ourown spirits. 7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and theweakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible butthat there should be offences. God permits them for wise andholy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not,may be made known. Being told before, that there will beseducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us standon our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with whatwe cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outwardoccasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, wemust die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of thebody, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls,and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progressof others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall anyof us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seekand to save? A father takes care of all his children, but isparticularly tender of the little ones. 15-20 If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he oughtnot to complain of it to others, as is often done merely uponreport, but to go to the offender privately, state the matterkindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have allthe desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties wouldbe reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practisedevery where, and under all circumstances, though they are toomuch neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christhas expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all ourproceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot toohighly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meetin the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in themidst of us. 21-35 Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we arebackward to forgive the offences of our brethren. This parableshows how much provocation God has from his family on earth, andhow untoward his servants are. There are three things in theparable: 1. The master's wonderful clemency. The debt of sin isso great, that we are not able to pay it. See here what everysin deserves; this is the wages of sin, to be sold as a slave.It is the folly of many who are under strong convictions oftheir sins, to fancy they can make God satisfaction for thewrong they have done him. 2. The servant's unreasonable severitytoward his fellow-servant, notwithstanding his lord's clemencytoward him. Not that we may make light of wronging ourneighbour, for that is also a sin against God; but we should notaggravate our neighbour's wronging us, nor study revenge. Letour complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked, and of theafflictions of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left withhim. 3. The master reproved his servant's cruelty. The greatnessof sin magnifies the riches of pardoning mercy; and thecomfortable sense of pardoning mercy, does much to dispose ourhearts to forgive our brethren. We are not to suppose that Godactually forgives men, and afterwards reckons their guilt tothem to condemn them; but this latter part of the parable showsthe false conclusions many draw as to their sins being pardoned,though their after-conduct shows that they never entered intothe spirit, or experienced the sanctifying grace of the gospel.We do not forgive our offending brother aright, if we do notforgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek thewelfare even of those who offend us. How justly will those becondemned, who, though they bear the Christian name, persist inunmerciful treatment of their brethren! The humbled sinnerrelies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of thedeath of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewinggrace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope forforgiveness from him.
Copyright information for MHCC
Welcome to STEP Bible
From Tyndale House, Cambridge UK
Use the search box to find Bibles, commentaries, passages, search terms, etc. Here are some examples:
This shows how to quickly lookup a passage.
Looking up a passage in three different translations is also easy.
This asks STEP to search for the Greek word for 'brother' and show the results in the ESV.
© Tyndale House, Cambridge, UK - 2018