Wednesday, September 23,2020 @ 10:00am Matthew 21:23-32
Wednesday, September 16, 2020 @ 10:00am Matthew 20:1-16
Read Matthew 18:21-35
This chapter on life in the church culminates in the powerful parable of the unmerciful servant.
- How often does Jesus say Peter must forgive a brother who sins against him?
- What does this mean?
- In the parable that follows Jesus illustrates the reason for His answer to Peter. Read verses 23-25. The king, who had come to check on his servants’ accounts, was dealing with governors responsible for tax revenues from the provinces. Note that the official was in debt to the king for an amount equivalent to $15 million. (The annual income of Herod the Great was less than $1.5 million!) How would the king attempt to recoup a small part of his losses? See also Leviticus 25:39-46 and 2 Kings 4:1.
- Read verses 26-27. What was the servant’s reaction?
- What was the debtor implying about his ability to repay the huge debt?
- Compare the king’s response to the man’s request.
- How would you expect the servant to react to the king’s response?
- Read verses 28-30. How did the forgiven debtor react instead?
- One hundred denarii was equivalent to about $20. Compare this amount to the one in verse 24.
- Compare the pleas of the fellow servant (v.29) with the plea in verse 26. Why do you suppose the forgiven servant lacked mercy for his fellow servant?
- How did he express his anger?
Reread Matthew 18:21-35
The point of comparison comes in verse 35. Jesus compares God the Father to the king and disciples to the forgiven servant. Then our Lord goes on to stress the fact that God’s children forgive others from our hearts. Don’t you winder if Peter got more than he’s bargained for in Jesus’ answer to his question? Jesus is telling Peter that not only do Christians forgive whenever a brother or sister asks, but Christians forgive freely from the heart. What’s more, our very life in the community of believers is at stake, for whoever refuses to forgive remains unforgiven by God.
- It is only through God’s mercy that anyone is admitted to God’s kingdom. See Romans 3:9-21; 6:23. Did the unforgiving servant wish to relate to the king by mercy or justice?
- Did the unforgiving servant wish to relate to his fellow servant by mercy or by justice?
- Think about your own human nature. Why do we so often try to justify ourselves?
- The debt owed by the fellow servant is microscopic when compared with the debt of millions of dollars, just as the debt others owe us is a drop in the bucket compared to the ocean of our indebtedness to God. Why does the trifling debt others owe us become so hard to forgive?
- Often, like the unforgiving servant, we want to deal in justice, not mercy. Read Luke 6:36 and Ephesians 4:32. In light of this parable what is God persuading you to do in similar situations?
Weekly Bible Studies: July 15, 2020
Wednesday morning at 10:30 am - LIVE STREAM.
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Read Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Jesus continues to teach in parables. He leads us to a deeper understanding of the kingdom of heaven. In the parable of the sower Jesus shows us how the Kingdom comes through the Word, which produces a good crop in good soil by God’s grace. In the parable of the weeds and the wheat Jesus teaches us about the other sower, Satan, whose evil crop will be destroyed in God’s own time.
- The weed mentioned in the text is a poisonous rye grass, the bearded darnel, closely related to bearded wheat. In early stages of growth even the wisest farmer cannot distinguish it from wheat. When is the difference obvious?
- How do the servants propose to solve the farmer’s problem?
- What reason does the farmer give for his solution?
- At the end of the age what will happen to the sons of the Evil One, the weeds sown in the world alongside the good seed?
- What will happen to the wheat, the sons of the Father?
- Read Romans 8:15-39 The evil in the world, the evil even in those who call themselves Christians, and the evil within our own hearts may tempt us to despair. In the light of Jesus’ teaching in this parable, how can you live victoriously today?