Matthew 18 begins with Jesus using a child to illustrate 3 important truths. First, in order to enter the kingdom a person most become like a child and humbly embrace the Gospel. Second, Jesus warns of the danger of causing one of these believers (child) to stumble over sin. Third, the Lord passionately loves and cares for His children. Jesus loves His children so much that He gives the church a way to lovingly discipline them, so that they will repent and be restored if they are walking in sin. The purpose of discipline in the body of Christ is always restoration. Peter then posed the question about how often should he forgive a brother who sins against him. Jesus says an innumerable amount of times. Jesus then tells a parable about a King who mercifully forgave a slave an un-payable debt. That slave then turned around and would not forgive the very small debt of a fellow slave. The King found out about it and reprimanded the slave who did not forgive, because he had been forgiven so much. He then handed that slave over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. The only release from the tortures was to have a change of heart and forgive his brother from his heart. The natural and only right response of those who have been forgiven through faith in Jesus, is to forgive others. When we do not forgive others, The Lord turns us over to torturers such as; hardships, stress and other difficulties until we do. The Lord disciplines the ones he loves (Hebrews 12:6) and will not allow a believer to sin without discipline on their life, so that they will turn and be restored to proper fellowship with Him. Lord, thank you for loving me so much that You discipline me when I sin. Lord, help me be quick to forgive, because You have forgiven me an un-payable debt of sin.
– Bryan McKenzie