The Unmerciful Servant
Matthew 18:23-35
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened to a certain king, which would take account of his servants.…

I. THAT WE ARE ALL GOD'S DEBTORS. Debt in the New Testament is a common figure for sin; but duty is a moral thing, not a commercial. It is used figuratively to denote an obligation which one has failed to meet. Let us compare our character with the requirements of God's law.

II. THAT NONE OF US HAS ANYTHING WHEREWITH TO PAY HIS DEBT TO GOD. Few will admit this. They say, "Have patience with me and I will pay thee all." They will try to make themselves better.


IV. THAT THE RECEPTION OF THIS FORGIVENESS BY US INVOLVES IN IT THE OBLIGATION TO FORGIVE THOSE OF OUR FELLOW-MEN WHO HAVE TRESPASSED AGAINST OURSELVES. How far this obligation extends. It does not imply that we are to take no notice of the wrong done us; this would be selfish indifference alike to our brother and his guilt. But how comes it that the obligation to cherish this forgiving spirit is connected with our reception of God's mercy. All who accept God's pardon are at the same time renewed into His image by the power of the Holy Spirit; and so resembling Him in character, they seek to do unto others as He has done to them. Gratitude will take this form (Ephesians 4:32). Lessons:

1. That our sins against God are vastly greater than our neighbour's trespasses against us.

2. We are constantly needing the forbearance of God and the long-suffering of our fellow-man.

3. That implacability on our part is an evidence that we are as yet unforgiven by God.

(W. M. Taylor, 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.

The Unmerciful Servant
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