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Unmerciful Slave - Matt. 18:23-27

Lesson # Unmerciful Slave - Matt. 18:23-27
Study Material - Unmerciful Slave - Matt. 18:23-27

You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.

Unmerciful Slave
Matt. 18:23-27

23 Therefore [dia] [touto] is the kingdom [basileia] of heaven [ouranos] likened [homoioo] unto a certain [anthropos] king [basileus] , which [hos] would [thelo] take [sunairo] account [logos] of [meta] his [autos] servants [doulos] .
24 And [de] when he [autos] had begun [archomai] to reckon [sunairo] , one [heis] was brought [prosphero] unto him [autos] , which owed [opheiletes] him [autos] ten thousand [murioi] talents [talanton] .
25 But forasmuch as [de] he [autos] had [echo] not [me] to pay [apodidomi] , his [autos] lord [kurios] commanded [keleuo] him [autos] to be sold [piprasko] , and [kai] his [autos] wife [gune] , and [kai] children [teknon] , and [kai] all [pas] that [hosos] he had [echo] , and [kai] payment to be made [apodidomi] .
26 The servant [doulos] therefore [oun] fell down [pipto] , and worshipped [proskuneo] him [autos] , saying [lego] , Lord [kurios] , have patience [makrothumeo] with [epi] me [emoi] , and [kai] I will pay [apodidomi] thee [soi] all [pas] .
27 Then [de] the lord [kurios] of that [ekeinos] servant [doulos] was moved with compassion [splagchnizomai] , and loosed [apoluo] him [autos] , and [kai] forgave [aphiemi] him [autos] the debt [daneion] . KJV-Interlinear

23 'For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a certain king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 'And when he had begun to settle them, there was brought to him one who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 'But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 'The slave therefore falling down, prostrated himself before him, saying, 'Have patience with me, and I will repay you everything.' 27 'And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. NASB

Some feel that it is enough to simply to believe in Christ. That anything beyond that is not necessary in life. This thinking is that of a fool. If you believe that by believing in Christ is all that is necessary from you, and that, that alone will get you into heaven (that part is correct), and that there will be no further demands on your life, then you are wrong.

Once you have been saved, then enormous responsibilities are placed upon you. You have a debt and you have an obligation. The two are different and not the same.

Here Christ gives a lesson by way of a parable, in response to Peter's question of forgiving seven times before ceasing forgiveness. We have already seen that forgiveness is a mental attitude and should continue forever without limit. Man has no right to hold grudges against anyone. The whole purpose of this parable is to illustrate forgiveness.

This is a story of a man who had an enormous debt which he was unable to repay. Ten thousand talents was an enormous sum for a rich person, and this man was a slave. The total annual revenue collected by the Romans from Idumea, Judea, Samaria, and Galilee was about 900 talents. From the Old Testament the total amount of gold given for use in the Temple was just over 8,000 talents, 1 Chron 29:4,7, and the gold which came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold, (1 Kings 10:14). So by these accounts, 10,000 talents was a sum far beyond any amount that could be repaid by any human being.

The annual budget of the USA is well over two trillion dollars. Suppose that this obligation was placed on you, and if you were destitute, then obviously you could never repay it. Such is our debt to God. It is a debt far beyond our ability to understand let alone repay.

The King represents God to whom the debt is due. The slave represents all believers (unbelievers are excluded from this parable).

The King called for an accounting from his slaves. We are slaves in that we are held to submission to the one and only Sovereign - God the Father. As God deals with us, so too we are expected to deal with others in our life. As God deals with us in grace, so we are to deal with others in grace.

The slave owed an amount that was unpayable. The King ordered all to be sold (family, assets, everything). The debt had to be paid in order for the slave to continue a normal life. The slave threw himself down in total helpless submission (a picture of total destitution), and asked for mercy. Mercy is Gods grace policy in action. The slave was totally devastated. He was guilty, condemned, devastated, and genuinely penitent. He had no defense for his position and offered none.

Of this parable, Martin Luther wrote,

'Before the king drew him to account, he had no conscience, does not feel the debt, and would have gone right along, made more debt, and cared nothing about it. But now that the king reckons with him, he begins to feel the debt. So it is with us. The greater part does not concern itself about sin, goes on securely, fears not the wrath of God. Such people cannot come to the forgiveness of sin, for they do not come to realize that they have sins. They say, indeed, with the mouth that they have sin; but if they were serious about it they would speak far otherwise. This servant, too, says, before the king reckons with him, so much I owe to my lord, namely ten thousand talents;... But now that the reckoning is held, and his lord orders him, his wife, his children, and everything to be sold, now he feels it. So, too, we feel in earnest when our sins are revealed in the heart, when the record of our debts is held before us .... Then we exclaim: I am the most miserable man, there is none as unfortunate as I on the earth! Such knowledge makes a real humble man, works contrition, so that one can come to the forgiveness of sins.'

End of quote.

All too often people feel that believing in Christ is enough. They are wrong. They have a life before them, and they have obligations to God in which they must be responsible. Fools are indifferent and too late, will come to the shock of it all. Those who are wise seek further explanation of even more wisdom and recognize their responsibilities in this life.

Just as we have all had debts (spiritual debts) to God and He has forgiven them all, so too we are expected to be courteous to our fellow human beings, and to function responsibly throughout our spiritual lives. To hold grudges, to go to bed at night with ill feelings in your heart against a spouse, family member, neighbor or whomever, is wrong and a sign of something lacking in your soul.

If we remain indifferent in life, to Bible doctrine, if we maintain an attitude of negative volition toward God and the responsibilities placed on us in this life, then we can expect divine discipline to fall down all around us sooner or later. God does not strike instantly, but in His own good time.

Remember that we are trapped between birth and death. These are our limits outside of which we cannot escape. God has no limits and can, at His convenience, deal with us in whatever manner is appropriate.

For those who ignore their spiritual life, then there will be a reckoning. And that reckoning will often times hurt a lot. The wise person wakes up to the truth of life and will begin to learn respect for God, and begin to accept responsibilities. Learning fear of God and what He can do to you, or what He can withhold from you, is far better than fearing anything in life. Print that last line out and place it on your fridge!

This begins the wonderful path toward avoiding being beaten to within an inch of ones life for being stupid in indifference, or witty in ones compromises of life. Why be stupid anyway, when it is far easier to be obedient to God by just simply studying ones Bible daily. And that in turn will lead to certainties of blessing rather than certainties of misery.

But recall a prior parable where the question was asked, 'Do you understand?' Many say 'Yes,' but often this is also accompanied with an indifference toward God and His Word, and the refusal to adopt His Will into ones life. So understanding is one thing, but adopting Gods counsel into ones daily life is quite another.

Go back and review the twelve point check list (I think it was twelve points anyway), we put together some time ago. That list is on the Index page on the web site. Read each and every item carefully and get yourself into compliance with all of them. That is only the beginning. Sticking with your daily study will bring great changes to your life, and one day you will be able to look back at you own life in amazement.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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