Matthew 18:30
And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
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(30) Till he should pay the debt.—Neither the memory of his lord’s mercy, nor any touch of pity, restrains the man who broods over the memory of wrong. But the course which he takes is, it may be noted, as unwise as it is ungenerous. He, as a slave, cannot command his fellow-slave to be sold. He can cast him into prison; but in so doing he cuts the debtor off from all opportunities of gaining the money by which he might pay his debt. His vindictiveness is so far suicidal. This surely is not without its analogue in the interpretation of the parable. Whatever be the nature of the offence, patience and forbearance at once encourage and enable the offender to make restitution. Harshness shuts him up as in the prison of a sullen defiance.

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.But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellow-servants which owed him an hundred pence - Greek, δεναριον denarion; Latin, denarius; a Roman silver coin in common use. When Greece became subject to the Romans, and especially under the emperors, the denarius was regarded as of equal value with the Attic drachma - about 7 1/2 d. sterling, or 15 cents (circa 1880's); consequently, this debt was about 15 dollars - a very small sum compared with what had been forgiven to the first servant. Perhaps our Saviour, by this, meant to teach that the offences which our fellow-men commit against us are very small and insignificant compared with our offences against God. Since God has forgiven us so much we ought to forgive each other the small offences which are committed.

Took him by the throat - Took him in a violent and rough manner - half choked or throttled him. This was the more criminal and base, as he had himself been so kindly treated and dealt so mildly with by his lord.

Besought - Entreated, pled with him.

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. See Poole on "Matthew 18:35".

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.

And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
Matthew 18:30. οὐκ ἤθελεν: no pity awakened by the words which echoed his own petition. “He would not.” Is such conduct credible? Two remarks may be made on this. In parabolic narrations the improbable has sometimes to be resorted to, to illustrate the unnatural behaviour of men in the spiritual sphere, e.g., in the parable of the feast (Luke 14:16-24) all refuse; how unlikely! But the action of the pardoned debtor is not so improbable as it seems. He acts on the instinct of a base nature, and also doubtless in accordance with long habits of harsh tyrannical behaviour towards men in his power. Every way a bad man: greedy, grasping in acquisition of wealth, prodigal in spending it, unscrupulous in using what is not his own.

Matthew 18:30. Οὐκ ἤθελεν, would not) opposed to σπλαγχνισθεὶς, being moved with compassion, in Matthew 18:27.[848]—ἀπελθὼν, having departed) sc. to the officer.—ἔβαλεν, κ.τ.λ., east, etc.) By which act he invaded the right of his Lord.

[848] Of how great consequence, frequently, is the presence or absence of willingness (Velle-Nolle) in cases which are not in themselves of the greatest weight.—V. g.

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. Matthew 18:30Went (ἀπελθὼν)

Lit. went away: dragging the other with him to judgment.

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