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Matthew 18:23-35 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Kingdom and Forgiveness

Matthew 18:23-35 – The Kingdom and Forgiveness

MT18:23 “For this reason the Realm of Heaven may be compared to a human king who wished to settle his logs[1] with his slaves. MT18:24 Having started to settle the accounts one debtor owing ten thousand talents[2] was brought forward. MT18:25 But not having the resources to pay off his debt the master commanded that he, his woman, his children, and everything they possessed, be sold so the debt could be paid.[3] MT18:26 As a result the slave fell forward prostrating himself at the feet[4] of his master, pleading, ‘Be long-suffering[5] with me and I shall pay back everything I owe you!’ MT18:27 Now the master of the slave was moved by compassion[6] and so released[7] the slave including his loan. MT18:28 However, after that slave left he found one of his fellow slaves who owed him one hundred denarii.[8] He grabbed his fellow and began choking him, screaming: ‘Pay me everything you owe me!’ MT18:29 Now the fellow slave fell on his knees and pleaded, ‘Be long-suffering with me and I will pay back what I owe you!’ MT18:30 But the first slave was unwilling to wait and he left to have his fellow slave thrown into prison until everything he owed was repaid. MT18:31 Now the other slaves saw all this and were deeply distressed. They went to their master and clarified the whole matter so he knew everything that had happened. MT18:32 Then the master demanded the first slave appear before him, telling him, ‘Wicked slave, I released you of all your debt because you begged me so. MT18:33 Was it not necessary for you also to be charitable[9] to your fellow slave just as I had been charitable to you?’ MT18:34 And having now become extremely angry the master turned the slave over to the tormentors[10] until he had repaid everything he owed. MT18:35 Just so my heavenly Father will do to you[11] if ever you do not forgive from your hearts every one of your brothers!”[12]

*

[1] Settle his logs: The Greek is LOGON and may be rendered: KJV: take account; ASV: a reckoning; RHM: settle accounts.

[2] Ten thousand talents: NEB: ran into the millions; MOF: three million pounds; MON: fifteen million dollars; PME: millions of dollars. If a slave made 16 cents a day one can see the debt was enormous.

[3] Sold so the debt could be paid: It seems impossible that a slave could repay such a debt.

[4] Fell forward prostrating himself at the feet: Or, KJV: fell down, and worshipped him; RHM: falling down began to do homage. See notes else where on PROSKUNEO or prostrate. Research also the word worship.

[5] Long-suffering: The Greek is literally “longness of spirit.” Or, KJV: have patience; WMS: give me time.

[6] Moved by compassion: Or, RIEU: sorry for him; GDSP: heart was touched; NOR: took pity on.

[7] Released: Or, KJV: loosed him; RIEU: let him go free and canceled the loan.

[8] One hundred denarii: Or, TCNT: ten pounds; MON: fifty dollars; GDSP: hundred dollars; PME: few dollars. The difference between the two debts is unthinkable. The scholar Kennedy contrasted the difference in the two debts: the later one could be carried in a pocket; the former was so huge it would require 8,600 workers each carrying 60 pounds! The larger debt was more than that of whole provinces in Judea.

[9] Charitable: Generally this word is rendered by “mercy” but we can see that this is not a matter of judging someone but canceling debt, thus charity. Or, NOR: pity. Read and meditate on James 2:13.

[10] Tormentors: The Greek is BASANISTAIS. Or, BER: scourgers; GDSP: jailers. Research the word basan and torment for the original meaning of confinement or punishment with or without torture.

[11] Just so my heavenly Father will do to you: This is a most serious matter. Those who refuse to forgive will learn a side to the Almighty they will not like. It is a mistaken notion that the Nazarene and his Father were all-forgiving all the time. This matter of forgiveness is one in which the individual chooses his own destiny. See notes on Matthew 6:14, 15 and Matthew 7:1, 2. The lesson is simple and straightforward: we have been a debt so great it is impossible to repay; therefore, we ought to reflect our appreciation in forgiving our fellows.

[12] Forgive from your hearts every one of your brothers: Or, KNX: with all his heart; BER: if each of you does not heartily forgive his brother. Read and meditate on Ephesians 4:23 and Colossians 3:13.

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Preceding posts

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

Matthew 18:21-22 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Forgive 77 Times!

Ableness to forgive those who wronged us

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

Matthew 4:8-11 – A Temptation to Gain World Rule

|| Luke 4:5-8, 13

MT4:8 Again the Devil took Jesus along to an unusually high mountain[1] and showed him all the kingdoms[2] of the world[3] and their glory. MT4:9 And the Devil said to Jesus, “All this I will give you if you ever prostrate[4] yourself and bow before me, kissing my feet.” MT4:10 Then Jesus said to the Devil, “Be on your way, Satan,[5] for it has been written,[6] ‘You shall worship[7] YHWH your God[8] and to Him only shall you render divine service.’[9][Deuteronomy 5:9; 6:13; 10:20] MT4:11 With that the Devil left Jesus, and, look! angels approached Jesus and ministered to him.

*

Now we come to the moment that the adversary of God shows the many kingdoms of earth to Jeshua, Christ Jesus, of whom is written in the ancient Scriptures that he is the sent one from God who is to govern over all kingdoms or monarchies, empires, monocracies, emperors, hereditary figures such as kings and queens, going to be the King of kings. The adversary of God promised Jesus that he was going to give all things if Jesus would fall down and worship him. This is not so much different today as at the time of Jesus. Today the satans or adversaries of God still promise the people many things they really cannot give, because those things do not belong to them and because they have no right of power over them. Lots of people also want to be worshipped by those around them. Many people fall in front of them because they love to receive more things and better positions from them. They are clearly of the world and not loving God as such, because their priorities are not for the heavenly goods but for the worldly goods.

At the moment the world still belongs to satan or to those who might be against God, but that is not going to stay so. There shall come a day when Jesus shall be authorised to rule over all the kingdoms on earth. (Revelation 11:15).

So he brought him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the inhabited earth in an instant of time.+ Then the Devil said to him: “I will give you all this authority and their glory, because it has been handed over to me,+ and I give it to whomever I wish. If you, therefore, do an act of worship before me, it will all be yours.” In reply Jesus said to him: “It is written, ‘It is Jehovah* your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’”+ {Luke 4:5-8}

    • John 12:31
    • 31 Now there is a judging of this world; now the ruler of this world+ will be cast out.+

    • John 14:30
    • 30 I will not speak with you much more, for the ruler of the world+ is coming, and he has no hold on me.*+

    • Ephesians 2:2
    • in which you at one time walked according to the system of things* of this world,+ according to the ruler of the authority of the air,+ the spirit+ that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.

  • 1 John 5:19: 19 We know that we originate with God, but the whole world is lying in the power of the wicked one.+
    • Matthew 13:19
    • 19 Where anyone hears the word of the Kingdom but does not get the sense of it, the wicked one+ comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart; this is the one sown alongside the road.+

Though rulership may today still belong to the adversary of God he does not deserve worship. Jesus very well knew to Whom worship belongs. It is not Jesus who has to be worshipped nor satan or any adversary of God or any other person or any other god than the God of gods, the Host of hosts.

Jesus’ refusal was curt:

“Beat it, Satan!”

He backed his rebuke with a third quotation from Deuteronomy, saying that it is written:

“It is Jehovah* your God you must worship,+ and it is only to Him alone you must render sacred service (or absolute single-heartedness).’”+

**

Hermonsnow.jpg

Mount Hermon, viewed from Mount Bental in the Golan Heights

[1] High mountain: We are tempted to envision Mount Everest though Mount Hermon might be the location.

[2] All the kingdoms: The governments and world powers all belong to the Devil as Luke 4:6, 7 confirms. Satan is the “god of this world.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) The entire world lies in his power (1 John 5:19). This “world” will one day be ruled by Lord Messiah (Revelation 11:15).

[3] World: The Greek is KOSMOS.

[4] Prostrate: The Greek is PROSKUNESES and contains “before + kiss” meaning to bow to the ground and kiss the sandals or hem of a garment. Older translations often use “worship” which is drawn from “worthy” and was used in old English regarding worthy persons such as kings, judges, and priests as worthy persons who may be addressed “Your worship.” It may range from a simple matter of respect to religious worship.

[5] Satan: The name means “Resister; Rebel; Apostate.” The name occurs 68 times with the first occurrence at 1 Chronicles 21:1. It occurs most often (17) in the Book of Job.

[6] Written: Perhaps a conflate paraphrase from Deuteronomy 5:9; 6:13; 10:20.

[7] Worship: The Greek is PROSKUNESEIS as in verse 9 but amplified by Jesus’ next word. TCNT: do homage.

[8] Your God: By this Jesus infers that YHWH is his God otherwise the quote makes no sense as a response to Satan. Over two dozen times the Scriptures use phrases indicating the Nazarene worships his own God. “The God of our Lord.” (Ephesians 1:3, 17)

[9] Render divine service: The Greek is LATREUSEIS. Or, KJV: serve; RHM: divine service.

+

Preceding

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:1-4 A Wilderness Temptation

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:5-7 – A Temptation to Test God

Jehovah God Maker of the entire universe served by a well-trained army

Next:

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:12-17 – Galilee Saw A Great Light

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:18-22 – The Calling of the First Disciples

Nazarene Commentary Matthew 4:23-25 – Kingdom Preaching and Healing Draws Crowds

++

Additional reading

  1. True riches
  2. Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God
  3. When will it stop
  4. Merry Christmas with the King of Kings
  5. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #2 Pantheon of gods and celebrations
  6. Looking for answers on the question Is there a God #3 Transcendence or Surpassing other gods and man

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Further reading

  1. The Ancient Worship of Babylon
  2. God Will Rule This Earth
  3. Deuteronomy
  4. Democratic Mistakes–The falls of Titans
  5. Kingdoms Collide
  6. All Forms of Government Are Bad
  7. Kings and kingdoms
  8. Messenger to the Nations
  9. Battling in the heavenly realm for your nation
  10. Bowing In Humility
  11. Missing Our Medicine
  12. Seeking to Strengthen the Faith
  13. Surrender
  14. Having Faith in God 
  15. Worship God
  16. G3-Why Praise God?
  17. Worship in Spirit and in Truth Part A
  18. God First (I Chronicles 8-10)
  19. Quick Answers: When Is The Best Time To Praise And Worship God?
  20. Worship in Spirit and In Truth Part B
  21. Unlock and activate what God has for you!
  22. Worship out of Love
  23. Our Service to God
  24. Worship is not about us

+++

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