|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:1-10 It is no abatement of their guilt by whom an offence comes, nor will it lessen their punishment that offences will come. Faith in God's pardoning mercy, will enable us to get over the greatest difficulties in the way of forgiving our brethren. As with God nothing is impossible, so all things are possible to him that can believe. Our Lord showed his disciples their need of deep humility. The Lord has such a property in every creature, as no man can have in another; he cannot be in debt to them for their services, nor do they deserve any return from him.
Verse 3. - Take heed to yourselves: If thy Brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. "But do you take heed," the Lord went on to say, "my disciples; you too are in danger of committing deadly sin yourselves, and of doing my cause irreparable injury. Soft living m selfish luxury, about which I have been speaking lately, is not the only wrong you can commit; there is sore danger that men placed as you are will judge others harshly, even cruelly, and so offend in another way 'the little ones ' pressing into the kingdom: this is your especial snare." Things Jesus had noticed, perhaps congratulatory, self-sufficient comments he had heard them make on the occasion of the lately spoken parable of Dives, very likely had suggested this grave warning. So here he tells them, the future teachers of his Church, how they must act: while ever the bold, untiring, fearless rebukers of all vice, of every phase of selfishness, they must be never tired of exercising forgiveness the moment the offender is sorry. The repentant sinner must never be repelled by them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Take heed to yourselves..... Or to one another, that ye neither give, nor take offence. Take heed to your spirits, to your doctrines, walk, and conversation, that you give no offence to any, that you are not stumbled by what you shall see in, and meet with from others:
if thy brother trespass against thee; See Gill on Matthew 18:15.
rebuke him; privately, and proceed according to the rules there directed to; lay his sin before him; endeavour not only to convince him of the fact, but of the evil of it; how contrary to the will of God; how unbecoming the Gospel of Christ, and the profession he makes; how hurtful to himself, as well as injurious to his brother; and how such evils give the enemy occasion to reproach the saints, to speak evil of the ways of God, and blaspheme the name and doctrines of Christ, and harden sinners in their sins, as well as stumble weak Christians, and sadden the hearts of the righteous.
And if he repent; if he is made sensible of his evil, and is truly sorry for it, and ingenuously acknowledges it:
forgive him; the injury committed against a man's self; and pray to God for him, for an application of his pardoning grace and mercy to him; and comfort him with the hope of forgiveness with God, by the gracious promises and declarations of pardon made to such persons; drop all resentment and anger, and behave towards him with all sweetness of temper, and affability, and respect: and this is to be done immediately, as soon as a man repents: and so say the Jews (p);
"says R. Chanina bar Papa, whoever commits a thing, and repents of it, they forgive him directly; as it is said, Malachi 3:5 "and fear not me": lo, they that fear me, forgive immediately:''
such were reckoned good men, men fearing God.
(p) T. Bab. Chagiga, fol. 5. 1.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3, 4. (See on Mt 18:15-17; Mt 18:21, 22).
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