26: Caring for and Forgiving Our Brothers
had learned of Jesus’ final mission to suffer and die in Jerusalem. But they could not fully
comprehend its purpose and significance. The disciples still had a false expectation
of what the kingdom
of God would be, and
wanted to be the greatest in the kingdom. In this lesson, the Lord gave His
fourth major discourse in response to the disciples’ two questions. Jesus’
extensive teachings aimed to correct the disciples’ misconceptions and tell
them the importance of love and unity among His followers.
“Therefore whoever humbles
himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (18:4).
Did You Know…?
Millstone (18:6): Lit. “a millstone of a donkey,” i.e., a millstone turned by a
donkey—far larger and heavier than the small millstones (24:41) used by women
each morning in their homes. 8/1465
Seven times (18:21): …the
traditional Rabbinic teaching was that an offended person
needed to forgive a brother only three times. 12/62
10,000 talents (18:24): This
probably equaled several million dollars, for a talent was probably a measure
of gold, between 58 and 80 pounds. 12/62About
60 million denarii; one denarius
was an average day’s wage. Therefore this was a debt impossible to repay. 1/1447
1. Take note of
how the word “little” sheds light on the meaning of “great.” Go through the
passage and list the things that make a person “great” in the kingdom of
2. Which verses
show that God is concerned about the well-being of one of the little ones?
3. Why is it that
our attitude towards the little ones have direct bearing
on our attitude toward God?
1. What was the disciples’ mentality for asking
about who is the greatest, and why is this mentality wrong?
2. What is it about little children that we should
3. What is the quality that underlies both being
like a little child (3) and receiving a little child (5)?
4a. Why is it
such a serious offense to cause someone to sin?
4b. Why is it
that “offenses must come”? If so, why should the one who offends still be condemned?
4c. Think of some things that could cause a little one to sin.
5. How should we apply the teaching in 8 and 9?
6a. Who are the “little ones” in 11-14?
6b. What can we learn about God from this passage?
7. Relate this paragraph to 11-14.
8a. List the
steps we should take for the brother who has sinned.
8b. What is the spirit behind these instructions?
9. Shouldn’t we simply forgive those who have
sinned? Why bring witnesses against them or even tell it to the church?
10. What do
18-20 teach us about
10a. Our responsibility towards brothers who sin.
authority of the church
11. What is the
meaning of gathering “in My name”?
12. Record the
teachings or personal lessons you can gather from this paragraph.
forgiving “up to seventy times seven.”
couldn’t the wicked servant forgive his fellow servant?
14b. What enables us to forgive, even when we have been seriously
wronged or deeply hurt?
15a. Read verse
35 and think about the seriousness of this teaching. Why does God take it so
personally if we don’t forgive others?
15b. Why isn’t
it enough to forgive by not retaliating? Why must forgiveness be done from the