Matthew 18:27
Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(27) Was moved with compassion.—The teaching of the parable deals tenderly even with that impotent effort at justification. It touches the heart of the “lord of that servant,” and is met with more than it asked for—not with patience and long-suffering only, but with the pity that forgives freely. The sinner is absolved, and the vast debt which he could never pay is forgiven freely. So far as he believes his Lord’s assurance, he is now “justified by faith.”

Forgave him the debt.—The Greek noun in this case expresses a debt contracted through a loan, and in the interpretation of the parable suggests a thought like that in the parables of the Pounds, the Talents, and the Unjust Steward. What we call our own—life, with all its opportunities—is really lent to us, and God requires repayment with interest.

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.The lord of that servant was moved with compassion ... - He had pity on him. He saw his distressed condition. He pitied his family. He forgave him the whole debt. This represents the mercy of God to people. "They have sinned." They owe to God more than can be paid. They are about to be cast off; but God has mercy on them, and, in connection with their prayers, forgives them. We are not to interpret the circumstances of a parable too strictly. The illustration taken from selling the wife and children Matthew 18:25 is not to be taken literally, as if God would punish a man for the sins of his father; but it is a circumstance thrown in to keep up the story - to make it consistent - to explain the reason why the servant was so anxious to obtain a delay of the time of payment. 27. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt—Payment being hopeless, the master is first moved with compassion; next, liberates his debtor from prison; and then cancels the debt freely. See Poole on "Matthew 18:35". Then the Lord of that servant was moved with compassion,.... Or had compassion on him, showed pity to him, and extended mercy towards him; not that he was moved hereunto by any actions of his, as his prostrating himself before him, and his worshipping him, nor by his cries and entreaties, nor by his promises, which were not at all to be depended on, but by his own goodness, and will; for not to anything that this man said, or did, nor to any deserts of his, but to the pure mercy, and free grace of God, is to be ascribed what is after related:

and loosed him; from obligation to punishment, and from a spirit of bondage, through the guilt of sin, and work of the law upon his conscience:

and forgave him the debt; the whole debt of ten thousand talents: for when God forgives sin, he forgives all sin, original and actual, secret and open, sins of omission and commission, of heart, lip, and life, of thought, word, and deed, past, present, and to come; and that freely, according to his abundant mercy, and the riches of his grace; without any regard to any merits, motives and conditions in the creature; though not without respect to the satisfaction of Christ, which no ways detracts from the grace and mercy of God, since this is owing to his gracious provision and acceptation. It was grace in God that provided, sent, and parted with his Son to be the propitiatory sacrifice for sin, and accepted the satisfaction when made, in the room, and stead of sinners: it was grace in Christ to become a surety for them, to assume their nature, to shed his precious blood, and give himself an offering, and a sacrifice for them; and it is distinguishing grace that this satisfaction should be provided, made, and accepted, not for angels, but for men; and though it is at the expense of Christ's blood and life that this satisfaction is made, and remission of sins obtained, yet the whole is entirely free to those who are partakers of it; they have it without money; and without price. So, that though the satisfaction of Christ is not expressly mentioned in this parable, and forgiveness of sin, which lies in a non-remembrance, and non-imputation of it, in a covering, and blotting it out, and in remitting the obligation to punishment for it, is ascribed to the compassion and mercy of God, yet it is implied; since these two involve each other: the special mercy of God, in the forgiveness of sins, streams only through the blood, righteousness, and sacrifice of Christ; and the sacrifice and satisfaction of Christ largely display the grace and mercy of God.

Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Matthew 18:27. σπλαγχνισθεὶς: touched with pity, not unmixed perhaps with contempt, and associated possibly with rapid reflection as to the best course, the king decides on a magnanimous policy.—ἀπέλυσεν, τὸ δάνειον ἀφῆκεν: two benefits conferred; set free from imprisonment, debt absolutely cancelled, not merely time given for payment. A third benefit implied, continuance in office. The policy adopted in hope that it will ensure good behaviour in time to come (Psalm 130:4); perfectly credible even in an Eastern monarch.27. forgave him the debt] With the almost reckless generosity of an Eastern Court that delights to exalt or debase with swift strokes. The pardon is free and unconditional.Matthew 18:27. [843] Ἀπέλυσεν, loosed) as the servant had besought him to do. ἀφῆκε, forgave) which the servant had not dared to ask. He had prayed for one kindness; and he obtained two.

[843] Σπλαγχνισθεὶς) To forgive and remit constitute the highest work of compassion.—V. g.Verse 27. - Was moved with compassion. The earthly circumstance has its counterpart in God's dealings with sinners. Humility, confession, prayer, are accepted by him as payment of the debt. Loosed him from arrest, from being sold as a slave. This was the first favour accorded. The second was even greater. Forgave him the debt. The servant had asked only for time; he receives acquittance of the enormous sum which he owed. The king's severity had brought home to the debtor his full guilt did its consequences; when he realizes these, and throws himself on his lord's mercy, he receives more than he had asked or hoped for. But (to revert to the spiritual interpretation) the pardoned sinner must not forget the past; he must live as one forgiven. Says the penitent psalmist, "I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me" (Psalm 51:3).
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