Study 28 From the Book of Matthew is: Matthew 18:1-35
We are stopping here to go to the book of Jeremiah. We will return to the book of Matthew later.
- Verses 1-14. Consider Christ’s teaching on children (see also 19:13-15). What are the qualities of the childlike spirit suggested in verses 3, 4? How should the Christian act towards children or those young in faith?
- What do verses 15-20 teach us about the way of reconciliation? What do we also learn here concerning the nature and the ministry of the local church, and concerning the practical value of acting together with others?
- How does the parable in verses 23-35 answer Peter’s question in verse 21? What other lessons does it teach?
Note. Verse 18, 19. There is a play on words in Greek in verse 18. ‘Petros’ means ‘stone’; ‘Petra means ‘rock’. Note that Christ did not say, ‘On thee I will build my church.’ Peter had just made the classic confession of faith in Christ. Equally in verses 22, 23 he can be seen as an agent of Satan. The power of the keys, i.e., of ‘loosing’ and ‘binding’, is one of great authority; but it is that of a steward rather than a door-keeper. The keys are the keys of knowledge (cf. Lk. 11:52) which Christ entrusts to those who preach the gospel, and thus ‘open the kingdom of heaven to all believers’.