|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
18:21-35 Though we live wholly on mercy and forgiveness, we are backward to forgive the offences of our brethren. This parable shows how much provocation God has from his family on earth, and how untoward his servants are. There are three things in the parable: 1. The master's wonderful clemency. The debt of sin is so great, that we are not able to pay it. See here what every sin deserves; this is the wages of sin, to be sold as a slave. It is the folly of many who are under strong convictions of their sins, to fancy they can make God satisfaction for the wrong they have done him. 2. The servant's unreasonable severity toward his fellow-servant, notwithstanding his lord's clemency toward him. Not that we may make light of wronging our neighbour, for that is also a sin against God; but we should not aggravate our neighbour's wronging us, nor study revenge. Let our complaints, both of the wickedness of the wicked, and of the afflictions of the afflicted, be brought to God, and left with him. 3. The master reproved his servant's cruelty. The greatness of sin magnifies the riches of pardoning mercy; and the comfortable sense of pardoning mercy, does much to dispose our hearts to forgive our brethren. We are not to suppose that God actually forgives men, and afterwards reckons their guilt to them to condemn them; but this latter part of the parable shows the false conclusions many draw as to their sins being pardoned, though their after-conduct shows that they never entered into the spirit, or experienced the sanctifying grace of the gospel. We do not forgive our offending brother aright, if we do not forgive from the heart. Yet this is not enough; we must seek the welfare even of those who offend us. How justly will those be condemned, who, though they bear the Christian name, persist in unmerciful treatment of their brethren! The humbled sinner relies only on free, abounding mercy, through the ransom of the death of Christ. Let us seek more and more for the renewing grace of God, to teach us to forgive others as we hope for forgiveness from him.
Verse 30. - And he would not. The piteous appeal made no impression on his hard heart. "He did not even regard the words by which he himself had been saved (for on saying these same words he had been delivered from the ten thousand talents), nor recognize the port by which he had escaped shipwreck; neither did the attitude of supplication remind him of his master's kindness; but putting aside all such considerations by reason of covetousness, cruelty, and revenge, he was fiercer than any wild beast" (St. Chrysostom, in loc.). He went and cast him into prison. He either himself dragged the wretched debtor to prison, or was not satisfied till he had seen the door of the gaol close upon him. Far from forgiving the debt, he would not even grant an extension of time; he must have payment immediately, or he will exact the utmost punishment till the debt is fully discharged.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he would not,.... Have patience with him, give him time for payment, and forbear severity at present, as he requested:
but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt; had him before a proper officer, and proved his debt, and got him sent to jail, there to lie till the whole debt was paid; which, as it discovered ill nature, severe usage, so, great ignorance and stupidity; for a prison will pay no debt: which sets forth the rigorous proceedings of some church members against their brethren, that have displeased them; who immediately bring the matter before the church, and will not be easy unless some censure is laid upon them, or they are cast out, until full satisfaction is given them, whereby oftentimes an useful member of a church is lost.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. And he would not; but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt, &c.—Jesus here vividly conveys the intolerable injustice and impudence which even the servants saw in this act on the part of one so recently laid under the heaviest obligation to their common master.
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