1 At the same time the disciples came to Jesus saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child to him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Truthfully I say to you, Unless you are converted, and become as little children, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever will humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever will receive one such little child in my name receives me. 6 But whoever offends one of these little ones that believes in me, it would be better for him that a millstone be hanged about his neck, and that he be drowned in the depth of the sea.
- If we are going to follow God we have to set aside our inferior knowledge and trust His greater knowledge as a child trusts his parents to do what is best for him.
- When God’s word says one thing and our minds, other people, other systems say something else, for our own good, we need to do what God says.
- Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
The Lord pronounced cries of grief on those that offend
7 Woe to the world because of offences! For it is necessary that offences come; but cries of grief to that man by whom the offence comes! 8 Therefore if your hand or your foot offends you, cut them off, and cast them from you: it is better for you to enter into life lame, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye offends you, pluck it out, and cast it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
- ‘Everlasting fire’ is hell. Hell is real.
- Every volcano that erupts proves that there is a lake of fire and brimstone inside the earth (Revelation 21:8).
- Jesus says that’s where those who refuse God’s deliverance and follow evil will be forever.
- As harsh as it sounds, it seems a simple statement of fact that it is better to enter heaven missing a part since Jesus can restore everything.
- Jesus knew there would be child molesters and abusers of all kinds. He speaks to all.
- Jeremiah 4:4 Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, you men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come like fire, and burn so that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings.
- Revelation 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
God rejoices at each lost one recovered
10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I say to you, That in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of man has come to save that which was lost. 12 What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the 99, and go into the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? 13 And if he finds it, truthfully I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep, than of the 99 that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven, that one of these little ones perish.
- Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
- 2Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any perish, but that all come to repentance.
15 Moreover if your brother trespasses against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone: if he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church: but if he refuses to hear the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.
- Gentiles and tax-collectors were the outcasts of society.
18 Truly I say to you, Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, That if two of you agree on earth regarding any thing that they ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there in the midst of them. 21 Then Peter came to him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Seven times? 22 Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, Seven times: but seventy times seven.
- Our offences toward God (like not daily loving Him with all our hearts as He so richly deserves) are the size of a mountain.
- What he asks us to forgive others by comparison is small.
- Our Father will do anything that two agree upon.
- The Lord is in the midst of the smallest gatherings in His name.
God not only forgave us our debt, but paid it Himself
23 Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king that would take account of his servants. 24 And when he had begun to settle, one was brought to him that owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But since as he had nothing to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you all. 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and released him, and forgave him the debt. 28 But the same servant went out and found one of his fellow servants that owed him a hundred denarii: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me what you owe. 29 And his fellow servant fell down at his feet, and begged him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you all. 30 But he would not: he went and cast him into prison until he paid the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, after he had called him, said to him, You wicked servant, I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me: 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you? 34 And his lord was filled with wrath and delivered him to the tormentors until he paid all that was due to him. 35 This is what my heavenly Father will do also to you, if you, from your hearts, do not forgive every one his brother their trespasses.
- A talent was 3000 shekels or 125 pounds. 10,000 talents was several million dollars.
- We owe our Maker perfect holiness. He made us in His image.
- A hundred pence was about $17.00 or a days wages.
- 1Peter 2:24 Who his own self carried our sins in his own body on the tree so that we, being dead to sins, would live unto righteousness, by whose wounds you were healed.
The Lord explained divorce
1 And when Jesus had finished these sayings, he left Galilee, and came into the coasts of Judaea beyond Jordan; 2 And great multitudes followed him; and he healed them there. 3 Also the Pharisees came to him, testing him, saying to him, Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for every cause? 4 And he answered and said to them, Have you not read, that he who made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause a man will leave father and mother, and cleave/cling to his wife: and the two will be one flesh? 6 Therefore they are no longer two, but one flesh. What God has joined together, do not let man separate. 7 They said to him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to divorce her? 8 He said to them, Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives: but from the beginning it was not like that. 9 And I say to you, Whoever divorces his wife, except for fornication, and marries another, commits adultery: and whoever marries her that is divorced commits adultery.
- Jesus said, the one that God made to fit. What God has joined together by creating them for one another, God made a helper that fits man from the man’s side—Genesis 2:18-23.
- The Hebrew word for rib is TSALAH meaning side, not rib.
- God is so great that He did this for
mankind, not just Adam.
- If such couples live in the filling of God’s Holy Spirit and put their mate before themselves their marriage will be blessed.
10 His disciples said to him, If that is the case of a man with his wife, then it is not good to marry. 11 But he said to them, All men cannot receive this saying, except those to whom it is given. 12 For there are some eunuchs, who were so born that way from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs that were made eunuchs by men: and there are eunuchs, who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.
- 1Corinthians 7:9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn (with desire).
He welcomes and blesses little children
13 Then little children were brought to him there so that he could put his hands on them and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, Allow the little children, and do not forbid them to come to me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid his hands on them, and departed from there. 16 And, behold, one came and said to him, Good Master, what good thing can I do, that I may have eternal life? 17 And he said to him, Why do you call me good? There is none good but one, that is, God: but if you will enter into life, keep the commandments. 18 He said to him, Which? Jesus said, Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, 19 Honor your father and your mother: and Love your neighbor as yourself. 20 The young man said to him, All these things I have kept from my youth up: what do I still lack? 21 Jesus said to him, If you desire to be perfect, go and sell that you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me.
- Notice that Jesus is talking about being perfect, not about being saved by grace through faith, God’s gift.
- Here He tells how to be perfect before God and have treasure in heaven.
22 But when the young man heard that saying, he went away filled with sorrow: for he had great possessions. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truthfully I say to you, It is very hard for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. 24 And again I say to you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. 25 When his disciples heard it, they were exceedingly amazed, saying, Who then can be saved? 26 But looking at them, Jesus said to them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.
- Possessions and money are often a distraction from
enjoying God’s continual presence with us.
- esus was leading them in the way of deep and true happiness.
- Matthew 13:22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that hears the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.
- Hebrews 13:5 Let your way of life be without covetousness; and be content with what things you have: for he has said, I will never leave you or forsake you.
- Psalm 16:11 You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy; at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
The Lord’s rewards are beyond astounding
27 Then Peter answered and said to him, Behold, we have forsaken all, and followed you; so what will we have? 28 And Jesus said to them, Truthfully I say to you, That you who have followed me in the regeneration when the Son of man sits on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit everlasting life. 30 But many that are first will be last; and the last will be first.
- The most precious treasure in life is time spent with God. Those born first in history have spent thousands of years longer with Him than those born last. So God makes those who have experienced less time with Him first. Ezekiel 1:26-28 describes the Lord’s throne of glory. This is the throne that He left to come die for our sins.
- Revelation 1:5 … him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, 6 And has made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 The kingdom of heaven is like a man that is a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire laborers into his vineyard. 2 And when he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4 And said to them; go also into the vineyard, and I will give you whatever is right. And they went their way.
- God is the landowner hiring laborers for His vineyard, the world (Isaiah 5).
- Mark 16:15 he said to them Go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, teaching them to observe all that I command… I am with you (Matthew 28)
- Matthew 19:29 And every one that has forsaken houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit everlasting life.
5 Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did the same. 6 And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and said to them, Why do you stand idle all the day? 7 They said to him, Because no man has hired us. He said to them, Go also into the vineyard; and whatever is right, that is what you will receive. 8 So when evening came, the lord of the vineyard said to his steward, Call the laborers, and give them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.
9 And when those came that were hired about the eleventh hour, each man received a denarius. 10 But when the first came, they thought they would receive more; and they also received every man a denarius. 11 And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, 12 Saying, These last have worked just one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who have borne the burden and heat of the day. 13 But he answered one of them, and said, Friend, I do you no wrong: did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what is yours, and go your way: I will give to these last the same as you. 15 Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own? Is your eye evil, because I am good? 16 So the last will be first, and the first last: for many are called, but few chosen.
- The denarius was a good wage for a day’s work.
- God calls all (Psalm 50:1).
- His chosen endure affliction (Isaiah 40:10).
- He gives all that believe in Jesus eternal life (John 3:16).
- John 10:28 And I give to them eternal life; and they will never perish, neither will any man pluck them out of my hand.
- Luke 12:15 And he said to them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things that he possesses.
- Psalm 135:6 Whatever the LORD pleased, that is what he did in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for His death
17 And going up to Jerusalem Jesus took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said to them, 18 Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19 And will deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he will rise again.
- Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his wounds we are healed.
20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s children came to him with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing from him. 21 And he said to her, What do you desire? She said to him, Grant that these, my two sons, may sit, the one on your right hand, and the other on the left, in your kingdom. 22 But Jesus answered and said, You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink of the cup that I will drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They said to him, We are able. 23 And he said to them, You will indeed drink of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it will be given to those for whom it is prepared by my Father.
- Revelation 3:21 To him that overcomes I will grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Jesus turned the world system right side up
24 And when the ten heard it they were indignant against the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to him and said, You know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and those that are great exercise authority over them. 26 But it will not be that way among you: but whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your minister; 27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your servant: 28 Even as the Son of man did not come to be ministered to, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
- 1Peter 1:18 you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain way of life received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.
compassion on us
29 And as they departed from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the way side, when they heard that Jesus passed by, cried out saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David. 31 And the multitude rebuked them to be quiet: but they cried out all the more, saying, Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David. 32 And Jesus stood still, and called them and said, What do you want me to do for you? 33 They say to him, Lord, that our eyes may be opened. 34 So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.
- John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I have come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they that see might be made blind.
- Revelation 3:17 Because you say, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and do you not know that you are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: 18 I counsel you to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that you may be rich; and white clothing, that you may be clothed, so that the shame of your nakedness does not appear; and anoint your eyes with eye salve (the word of God Psalm 119:105), that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hears my voice, and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup/commune/dine/fellowship with him, and he with me.
- Psalm 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
SUMMARY: Matthew 18-20
- The Lord pronounced cries of grief on those that offend
- God rejoices at each lost one recovered
- God not only forgave us our debt, but paid it Himself
- The Lord explained divorce
- He welcomes and blesses little children
- The Lord’s rewards are beyond astounding
- Jesus tried to prepare the disciples for His death
- Jesus turned the world system right side up
- He has compassion on us