Matthew 18:33
Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
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(33) Even as I had pity on thee.—The comparison of the two acts, the implied assumption that the pity of the one act would be after the pattern of the other, was, we may believe, designed to lead the disciples to the true meaning of the prayer they had been taught to use, “Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.”

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.So when his fellow-servants ... - This is a mere circumstance thrown into the story for the sake of keeping, or making a consistent narrative. It cannot be intended to teach that other Christians should go and tell God what a brother has done; for God well knows all the actions of his children, and does not need us surely to inform him of what is done. It is abusing the Bible, and departing from the design of parables, to press every circumstance, and to endeavor to extract from it some spiritual meaning. Our Saviour, in this parable, designed most clearly to exhibit only one great truth - the duty of forgiving our brethren, and the great evil of not forgiving a brother when he offends us. The circumstances of the parable are intended only to make the story consistent with itself, and thus to impress the general truth more fully on the mind. 32, 33. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, &c.—Before bringing down his vengeance upon him, he calmly points out to him how shamefully unreasonable and heartless his conduct was; which would give the punishment inflicted on him a double sting. See Poole on "Matthew 18:35".

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion..... It is but reasonable, what ought to be, and may be expected, that such who have received mercy, should show mercy; and as the Lord had compassion on this man, and had forgiven him such an immense sum, and saved him, his wife and children, from being sold for bondslaves, the least he could have done after this, would have been to have followed such an example, and have had mercy, as his Lord says to him,

on thy fellow servant; between whom, and him, there was not so great a distance, as between him, and his Lord; and the sum so small that was owing to him, as not to be mentioned with his:

even as, I had pity on thee; such an instance of pity and compassion did not only set him an example, worthy of his imitation, but laid him under an obligation to have acted such a part.

Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?
Matthew 18:33. On the well-known double καί used comparatively, see Klotz, ad Devar. p. 635. Baeumlein, Partik. p. 153.

ἔδει] the moral oportuit.

τοῖς βασανισταῖς] to the tormentors (Dem. 978, 11; 4Ma 6:11) to torture him, not merely to cast him into prison, which latter was only a part of their functions (Fritzsche). The idea involved in βασανίζειν is of essential importance, typifying as it does the future βάσανος of Gehenna. Comp. Matthew 8:29; Luke 16:23; Revelation 14:10. Grotius well observes, though he takes the βασανιστάς as = δεσμοφύλακας (Kuinoel, de Wette), “utitur autem hic rex ille non solo creditoris jure, sed et judicis.”

ἕως οὗ ἀποδῷ] as in Matthew 18:30. until he shall have paid. Though not expressly asserted, it is a legitimate inference from the terms of the passage (comp. Matthew 5:26) to say: τουτέστι διηνεκῶς, οὔτε γὰρ ἀποδώσει ποτέ, Chrysostom.

Doctrine, of the parable: The remission which thou hast obtained from God of thy great unpayable debt of sin, must stimulate thee heartily to forgive thy brother the far more trifling debt which he has incurred as regards thee; otherwise, when the Messianic judgment comes, the righteousness of God will again rise up against thee, and thou wilt be cast into Gehenna to be punished eternally; comp. Matthew 5:25 f., Matthew 6:14 f.

That motive, drawn from the forgiving mercy of God, could only be exhibited in all its significance by the light shed upon it in the atoning death of Christ (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:12 f.), so that Jesus had to leave to the future, which was fast approaching, what, as yet, could be but inadequately understood (so far we have here a ὕστερον πρότερον), and hence our passage is not inconsistent (Socinian objection) with the doctrine (also expressly contained in Matthew 20:28, Matthew 26:28) of satisfaction.

ἀπὸ τ. καρδ. ὑμ.) from your heart, therefore out of true, inward, heartfelt sympathy, not from a stoical indifference. Comp. Matthew 18:33. This is the only instance in the New Testament of ἀπό being used in connection with this phrase; elsewhere it is ἐκ that is employed. But comp. the classical expressions ἀπὸ γνώμης, ἀπὸ σπουδῆς, ἀπὸ φρενός, and the like; also ἀπὸ καρδίας in Antoninus ii. 3, and ἀπὸ τῆς ψυχῆς. Dem. 580, 1.

Matthew 18:33. οὐκ ἔδει; was it not your duty? an appeal to the sense of decency and gratitude.—καὶ σὲἠλέησα. There was condescension in putting the two cases together as parallel. Ten thousand acts of forgiveness such as the culprit was asked to perform would not have equalled in amount one act such as he had got the benefit of. The fact in the spiritual sphere corresponds to this.

33. Cp. the Lord’s Prayer, where forgiveness of others is put forward as the claim for divine pardon.

Matthew 18:33. Οὐκ ἔδει; did it not behove?) It did, indeed, by the highest rule of equity.[849]—ΤῸΝ ΣΎΝΔΟΥΛΌΝ ΣΟΥ, thy fellow-servant) whom thou oughtest to have pitied; My servant, by injuring whom thou hast injured Me.

[849] Πᾶσαν, all) Comp. the πᾶν in Matthew 18:34. O how royal is as well His lenity, as also His severity!—V. g.

Verse 33. - Compassion...pity. The same verb is used in both places. Shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow servant, even as I had mercy on thee? (Revised Version). The man's guilt lies in his unmercifulness in the face of mercy received. The fact is patent; it stands for itself; it needs no amplification or enforcement. The king says no more, and the delinquent is equally silent; he has no excuse to offer. Convicted by his own conscience, he knows it is useless to sue for pardon or to expect further leniency. So in the day of judgment no excuse can be admitted; it is too late to plead or argue when the sentence is past. Matthew 18:33
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