Matthew 18:23

23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.

Matthew 18:23 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 18:23

Therefore is the kingdom of heaven
The Gospel church state, or the church of Christ under the Gospel dispensation, and the methods of God's dealings in it;

likened unto a certain king:
or "a man", "a king", pointing either to Christ, the king Messiah, who is King of kings, and Lord of lords, the King of saints and churches; who, as God, has a natural kingdom of providence, and as man and Mediator, a kingdom of grace; and will have a more visibly glorious one, both in this world and in the other; or rather, the Father of Christ, as appears from the application of the parable, in ( Matthew 18:35 ) , who is the living God, and everlasting King: whose is the kingdom of nature, grace, and glory:

which would take account of his servants;
not all mankind, though these are all in a sense his servants, and accountable to him; nor only ministers of the Gospel, who are so in an eminent and peculiar sense, and must give an account to God of their time and talents, and souls committed to them; but all that bear the Christian name, that are professors of religion, that are either really or nominally the subjects and servants of God. These, it is sometimes the will and pleasure of God, to "take account of": not of their persons, or number, but of their conduct and behaviour; which, as it will be more fully done at death, or at judgment, so sometimes is taken in this life: God sometimes calls, and brings, professors of religion to an account, and reckons with them by afflictive dispensations of providence; when he puts them upon reflecting how they have spent their time, made use of their talents and gifts, and have behaved in their families, and in the world, and church; or by dealing roundly with men's consciences, awakening and convincing them of their sins, of omission and commission, which seems to be intended here.

Matthew 18:23 In-Context

21 Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?"
22 Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23 "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him;
25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.