Forgiveness -- One Law for Lord and Servant
Matthew 18:23-35
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a certain king, which would take account of his servants.…

It is a parable to show us that our life must be a repetition "of the life of God. "How often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? "

I. THE ANSWER OF THE LORD, FOLDED UP IN THIS PARABLE, IS "AS OFTEN AS GOD FORGIVES US." As soon as the lord began to reckon with his servants, he found this great defaulter; in any company God would immediately find such an one. What our Lord represents as one act, is really a continued flow of acts; every hour we are the subjects of forgiveness. Just as often you are to let forgiveness flow forth to others; the heart of the servant must be in unison with the heart of the master.

II. GOD'S MERCY TO US IS TO BE A SPRING OF MERCY IN US TO OTHERS. The unmerciful servant would not resemble his master. We are receivers mainly that we may be givers. Observe the circumstances in which as Christians we are expected to exercise a forgiving spirit. Christ does not ask us to make bricks without straw. Everything that we need for the fulfilment of the command is provided. The Holy Spirit is given to mould us to the form of mercy which is in Him. It is a reasonable and ample provision. Christ endeavours to open our hearts by kindness; not by reproaches or commands, but by forgiveness. He dies that our transgressions may be put away. If the power to forgive be greater in us in this way than any other, the responsibility under which we lie to put forth that power is enormously increased.

III. WE MUST TAKE THE ENTIRE GIFT, OR LOSE ALL. The entire gift of the king was something more than forgiveness. It was also a forgiving heart. It is the gift of a new life. He took the liberty, joy, relief, and then stopped. He took the remission of his debt; but not the debt-remitting heart. Pardon is not salvation; there must be holiness as well.

(A. Macleod, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants.

WEB: Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants.

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