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18. Parables

1In that hour came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2And he called to him a little child, and set him in the midst of them, 3and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me: 6But whoso shall cause one of these little ones that believe on me to stumble, it is profitable for him that a great millstone should be hanged about his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depth of the sea.

7Woe unto the world because of occasions of stumbling! for it must needs be that the occasions come; but woe to that man through whom the occasion cometh! 8And if thy hand or thy foot causeth thee to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life maimed or halt, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 9And if thine eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is good for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the hell of fire. 10See 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 who is in heaven. 11For the Son of man came to save that which was lost. 12How think ye? if any man have a hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and go unto the mountains, and seek that which goeth astray? 13And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth over it more than over the ninety and nine which have not gone astray. 14Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

15And if thy brother sin against thee, go, show him his fault between thee and him alone: if he hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16But if he hear thee not, take with thee one or two more, that at the mouth of two witnesses or three every word may be established. 17And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican. 18Verily I say unto you, what things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. 19Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

21Then came Peter and said to him, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? until seven times? 22Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven. 23Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, who would make a reckoning with his servants. 24And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, that owed him ten thousand talents. 25But forasmuch as he had not wherewith to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. 27And the lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants, who owed him a hundred shillings: and he laid hold on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay what thou owest. 29So his fellow-servant fell down and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee. 30And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay that which was due. 31So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were exceeding sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. 32Then his lord called him unto him, and saith to him, Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: 33shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow-servant, even as I had mercy on thee? 34And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. 35So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.

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Parable of the Unmerciful Debtor (Mt 18:21-35).

21. Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?—In the recent dispute, Peter had probably been an object of special envy, and his forwardness in continually answering for all the rest would likely be cast up to him—and if so, probably by Judas—notwithstanding his Master's commendations. And as such insinuations were perhaps made once and again, he wished to know how often and how long he was to stand it.

till seven times?—This being the sacred and complete number, perhaps his meaning was, Is there to be a limit at which the needful forbearance will be full?

22. Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times; but, Until seventy times seven—that is, so long as it shall be needed and sought: you are never to come to the point of refusing forgiveness sincerely asked. (See on Lu 17:3, 4).

23. Therefore—"with reference to this matter."

is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants—or, would scrutinize the accounts of his revenue collectors.

24. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents—If Attic talents are here meant, 10,000 of them would amount to above a million and a half sterling; if Jewish talents, to a much larger sum.

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—(See 2Ki 4:1; Ne 5:8; Le 25:39).

26. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him—or did humble obeisance to him.

saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all—This was just an acknowledgment of the justice of the claim made against him, and a piteous imploration of mercy.

27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt—Payment being hopeless, the master is first moved with compassion; next, liberates his debtor from prison; and then cancels the debt freely.

28. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants—Mark the difference here. The first case is that of master and servant; in this case, both are on a footing of equality. (See Mt 18:33, below.)

which owed him an hundred pence—If Jewish money is intended, this debt was to the other less than one to a million.

and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat—he seized and throttled him.

saying, Pay me that thou owest—Mark the mercilessness even of the tone.

29. And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all—The same attitude, and the same words which drew compassion from his master, are here employed towards himself by his fellow servant.

30. And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt, &c.—Jesus here vividly conveys the intolerable injustice and impudence which even the servants saw in this act on the part of one so recently laid under the heaviest obligation to their common master.

32, 33. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, &c.—Before bringing down his vengeance upon him, he calmly points out to him how shamefully unreasonable and heartless his conduct was; which would give the punishment inflicted on him a double sting.

34. And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors—more than jailers; denoting the severity of the treatment which he thought such a case demanded.

till he should pay all that was due unto him.

35. So likewise—in this spirit, or on this principle.

shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.




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