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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.

Commentary for Matthew 18

The importance of humility. (1-6) Caution against offences. (7-14) The removal of offences. (15-20) Conduct towards brethren, The parable of the unmerciful servant. (21-35)1-6 Christ spoke many words of his sufferings, but only one of his glory; yet the disciples fasten upon that, and overlook the others. Many love to hear and speak of privileges and glory, who are willing to pass by the thoughts of work and trouble. Our Lord 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, do not desire authority, do not regard outward distinctions, are free from malice, are teachable, and willingly dependent on their parents. It is true that they soon begin to show other dispositions, and other ideas are taught them at an early age; but these are marks of childhood, and render them proper emblems of the lowly minds of true Christians. Surely we need to be daily renewed in the spirit of our minds, that we may become simple and humble, as little children, and willing to be the least of all. Let us daily study this subject, and examine our own spirits.

7-14 Considering the cunning and malice of Satan, and the weakness and depravity of men's hearts, it is not possible but that there should be offences. God permits them for wise and holy ends, that those who are sincere, and those who are not, may be made known. Being told before, that there will be seducers, tempters, persecutors, and bad examples, let us stand on our guard. We must, as far as lawfully we may, part with what we cannot keep without being entangled by it in sin. The outward occasions of sin must be avoided. If we live after the flesh, we must die. If we, through the Spirit, mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live. Christ came into the world to save souls, and he will reckon severely with those who hinder the progress of others who are setting their faces heavenward. And shall any of us refuse attention to those whom the Son of God came to seek and to save? A father takes care of all his children, but is particularly tender of the little ones.

15-20 If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practised every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us.

21-35 Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we are backward to forgive the offences of our brethren. This parable shows how much provocation God has from his family on earth, and how untoward his servants are. There are three things in the parable: 1. The master's wonderful clemency. The debt of sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it. See here what every sin deserves; this is the wages of sin, to be sold as a slave. It is the folly of many who are under strong convictions of their sins, to fancy they can make God satisfaction for the wrong they have done him. 2. The servant's unreasonable severity toward his fellow-servant, notwithstanding his lord's clemency toward him. Not that we may make light of wronging our neighbour, for that is also a sin against God; but we should not aggravate our neighbour's wronging us, nor study revenge. Let our complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked, and of the afflictions of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left with him. 3. The master reproved his servant's cruelty. The greatness of sin magnifies the riches of pardoning mercy; and the comfortable sense of pardoning mercy, does much to dispose our hearts to forgive our brethren. We are not to suppose that God actually forgives men, and afterwards reckons their guilt to them to condemn them; but this latter part of the parable shows the false conclusions many draw as to their sins being pardoned, though their after-conduct shows that they never entered into the spirit, or experienced the sanctifying grace of the gospel. We do not forgive our offending brother aright, if we do not forgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek the welfare even of those who offend us. How justly will those be condemned, who, though they bear the Christian name, persist in unmerciful treatment of their brethren! The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewing grace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from him.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Matthew 18

  • Angelito Buccahan on Matthew 18
    the text is very clear that God's presence is in those who gather in His name regardless of number. It shows that God is not after the number of people in a gathering because of His name like bible studies, prayer meeting, etc. And He did not say that if you are alone praying He is not with...
  • Harold Willett on Matthew 18:20
    I feel sorry for so many people. God's words are alive. If his book the Bible had legs it would walk. As I read the different things that people say to interpret God's words for the most part there all Wrong. Where to or three are gathered together in my name there i an in the midst of them. The Holy Spirit guides me into it's meaning for me not for anyone else but me. Same goes for anyone else that reads his words San all for guidance. Myself and Jesus are two by itself. When I'm in prayer when God i do it through Jesus guided by the spirit of Jesus that's already inside of me. Jesus is with me when I'm before God. Many do not understand this because only those of us that have a really true relationship with Jesus can understand these things. So many go to church thinking this does it relationship wise but it does nothing at all nothing. People understand the word relationship but don't understand it when it comes to there salvation. It's not about being perfect I'm not in not even close it's about a true honest relationship when him. I don't even go to any church Anymore. I'll backslide if I do and I know it. I'd like to go preach but no one will have me I've tried before many times. People are afraid of the TRUTH and FACTS. Common Sense is the best way I know to describe God's words when reading them. Lead me not into temptation but deliver me from evil and the Holy Spirit along with God's words did that for me. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide no one else no networks no preachers no friends him and his only it you won't get your deliverance ever. If I had time to share my testimony here you'd call me a Liar. No one lives like I do has what I have and does what I do no one Period. I race one of the most expensive cars on the planet and do it with hardly nothing. How? It's called being Blessed and that's a totally different story of how God works through Jesus and his Holy Spirit. It's Holy a reason. I will come speak anywhere I'm invited. Just get me there @bac
  • Steve Horsley on Matthew 18:22
    These verses should warn us about who we have in our lives,in our hyper social society people feel the need to be always around people and they shun solitude or standing alone.The bible teaches the opposite.
  • Louis DEROSE on Matthew 18:20
    When did Jesus say "For where two or three are gathered together in my Name, there am I in the midst of them", i.e. how many years ago.
  • Mishael - in Reply on Matthew 18:20
    Louis DeRose: you're looking for Matthew 18:20.

    When you come into this website, you can use the search box to pull up verses. I used it just now
  • Bob Hilt - in Reply on Matthew 18:20
    Greetings Louis - Jesus said that almost 2,000 years ago about where 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Most Bible scholars say Jesus died around 32-33 AD.
  • Sister Kelsie Joe Ann Lewis on Matthew 18:23
    I am a member of The Church of Christ.
    Can I have a preacher of my Church teach me. The word of God
  • Hans Peter on Matthew 18:25
    In matthew 18:25, i dont understand if the master should be seen as the one he works for, the on that pays him ( a human)

    Or as the lord, as in god
  • Bendito Palavra - in Reply on Matthew 18
    You are on the right track. Jesus often used earthly examples to illustrate heavenly truth in a form that our minds can more easily grasp. The lord in the story was a man that employed the servant that owed more than he could ever pay. This pictures that each one of us owes God a debt we can never pay, but he has compassion and forgives us freely in Jesus Christ. The wicked servant proved he was insincere and ungrateful about his own deliverance from bondage when he went out and accosted his fellow servant. If we really appreciate the forgiveness Jesus obtained for us when he died on the cross and was raised from the dead, we should be willing to forgive our brothers and sisters that request it from us. If we refuse to forgive as God has forgiven us, we may be proving that we are pretenders to salvation or disobedient, tormented prisoners of our own bitterness.
  • Hans Peter - in Reply on Matthew 18
    Thanks for the reply!


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