92. The little children- Matt. 18:1-6, Mark 9:33-37, Luke 9:46-48
-As the disciples came to Capernaum they were arguing about which of them was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven and asked Jesus to settle the dispute. Jesus knew their prideful heart’s condition and settle the matter by bringing a small child before them with these words, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 18:3-4).” He then relates to them how anyone who receives a child, receives Him and the One (the Father) who sent Him. He also warns them that whoever causes one such child to stumble, it would be better for them to have a heavy millstone (weight) hung around their neck and be drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:6). *Application* Jesus was cutting right to the heart of the matter in exposing motivations and intentions. Humility is the key for us as believers to be great in the eyes of the LORD. His authority is what we must submit to and faithfully serve one another (Galatians 5:13). It is by humble childlike faith that we come to Jesus and receive what He has for us without pretense or ulterior motives. We must rely on Him for everything just as a child depends on his/her parents for sustenance and provision. This is the point Jesus is making to His prideful, self-absorbed disciples. How about you? How will you pursue greatness in the Kingdom of God?
Verses to Memorize- Matthew 18:3, Luke 9:48
93. The unmerciful servant- Matt. 18:21-35
-This passage starts out with Peter asking the Lord how many times he shall forgive his brother who has sinned against him thinking that seven times should be sufficient. Jesus extends that to seventy times seven, which is biblically a number for completion and rest. What He was meaning is that there should be complete forgiveness against your brother no matter how many times he sins against you. Then He related a parable of an unmerciful servant to His disciple.
-There was a king who was owed ten thousand talents (a talent was worth more than 15 years’ wages of a laborer) by his servant. His servant begged for patience and forgiveness upon the debt that was owed and received it with the promise to repay everything in time. The king showed him compassion, but the servant went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him money (100 denarii, or 100 day’s wages) and began to grab and choke the slave demanding payback. When the slave asked for mercy and patience himself, the servant was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he could be paid back what was owed. The fellow slaves were deeply grieved by this event and went and reported to their lord all that had happened. Upon hearing of the servant’s unforgiving spirit, the king summoned him before him and rebuked the servant for not forgiving and not showing mercy as he had been forgiven and given patience. The king, moved with anger, handed the servant over to the torturers until he should repay all he was owed. Jesus then said the Heavenly Father will do the same to us, if we do not forgive our brother/sister from the heart (Matthew 18:35). *Application* What debt have you been forgiven by the Lord of lords and King of kings? How have you extended that grace to others who have wronged you in this life? It is vitally important as we see here in Scripture by the words of Jesus to forgive completely from the heart every single wrong that has been done to us. Just as He commands in His model prayer, we must forgive as we have been forgiven (Matthew 6:12). Show all the mercy, grace, compassion, and love our Heavenly Father shows and you will have nothing to fear.
Verse to Memorize- Matthew 18:35