by Jerry Vines

Matthew 18:21-35
Jerry Vines

When Jesus told a story He didn't tell it in isolation. He always told it in a context. In this
particular instance you have to go all the way back to the first verse of the chapter to find the context
and the setting which caused Jesus to tell this particular story. In the first verse of Matthew 18 we are
told that the disciples had come to Jesus and asked Him a question - Who was the greatest in the
kingdom of heaven? Mark tells us that actually they had had an argument about it. The disciples were
arguing and complaining and griping with one another and they were in a dispute about who was the
greatest in the kingdom. In that atmosphere the Lord Jesus brings a little child, sits him on His lap and
says to them, "If you want to be great in the kingdom you have the learn the lesson of humility, be
humble like this little child." Then the Lord Jesus dealt with the attitudes and the hearts of the people,
the attitudes and the hearts of these disciples and the hard feelings, and He gives His teaching about
how believers are to settle their disputes and their arguments with one another. The fact is even after
people come to know the Lord as their Savior sometimes they sin against one another and many times
we have to forgive our brothers for things that they may have done against us. In this atmosphere, the
Apostle Peter come to the Lord Jesus in verse 21 and it says, "Then came Peter to Him." Simon Peter,
evidently was feeling extra spiritual on this occasion. He realized that the Rabbis had taught that you
were to forgive three times. So, Simon Peter felt real spiritual and he said, "I think I'll just double that
and add one." He said to the Lord, "How many times do I forgive those who sin against me?" Isn't it
interesting that it never ...

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