Matthew 18

Vs. 1, “At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  In our human pride, we like to create a pecking order.  Jesus would remind his disciples (vs. 1-9) and us that we are to have a child-like humility and sincere heart towards the Lord and others.  Likewise, we must be very careful not to cause the children of God to stumble beause of our actions (vs. 6).  In the parable of the lost sheep (vs. 10-14), it is a wonderful reminder that God cares for each of us individually.  And as God cares for us, it’s only natural that Jesus would now put an emphasis on caring and forgiving each other (vs. 15-20).  And to top this lesson off, Jesus gives us the parable of the unmerciful servant (vs. 21-35).  If God can forgive us of our immense sin, how much more can we forgive others when they sin against us?

 

Regarding application…Forgiving.  Vs. 21, “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?”  In the Jewish tradition of the day….the rule was “three strikes and you’re out!”  So, Peter was pretty generous when he claimed to forgive someone up to seven times instead of three.  Of course, we know Jesus’ response…we must forgive without limit (vs. 22).  When I think about our churches today and even my own experience…we are quick to share about love.  But after someone wrongs us, we naturally start withholding our love.  How sad it must be for God to see his children go about their lives with animosity and unforgiveness in their lives.  None of us are perfect, that’s why we need to forgive each other.  Question: Is there someone in your life you need to forgive?  Is there someone in your life you have to ask to be forgiven?  Let love cover over a multitude of sins. (I Peter 4:8)