Matthew 18:25 (The Wages of Sin)

Recall from Mat 18:24 the vast sum of money the slave was in debt to his Master; what does Jesus state as obvious at the beginning of Mat 18:25 in regard to the slave accumulating such a mountain of debt?  How is that like us in our relationship to God?  Consider that the slave would have spent considerable time accumulating such a debt—a slave to his passions, all the while deceiving himself that the debt must not be so bad, that everything would continue as it always had and that somehow the account would never have to be settled.  Is this like people today?  See 2Pe 3:4.  Is it like us?  And yet, do not those who willfully deceive themselves about their debt secretly know, and fear, that there must be a day of reckoning, and that things will not always continue as they have, because they cannot?  Consider too that though his debts began small he was oblivious to how the effects of compounding would add to them[1]; are we like that in regard to sin?  I.e., are we oblivious to the compounding effects of our sin in the world, and how even one seemingly insignificant transgression compounds in time into a much greater mountain of evil?  Behold Adam’s one sin, and see Gen 4:8, 6:5, 9:21, 11:4, 13:13, 16:1-2, 19:4-8, 30-38, 34:1-2, 37:26-27, etc…; cf. 1Co 5:6, Mat 5:48.

Since the man could not repay the vast sum he was in debt to his master, what did his lord command concerning him in Mat 18:25?  Was that his legal right?  See Exo 22:2-4, 2Ki 4:1, Isa 50:1.  What does it mean that the man was sold?  To whom was he sold, and for what purpose?  Consider that the man was already a slave, who had demonstrated himself to be worse than worthless; by selling him to another “and repayment to be made”, did the master expect to ever receive back what was due him?  Think: would anyone pay such a vast sum for such a worthless slave?  What then was the purpose of selling the slave to another: to recover what was owed, or to make satisfaction for what was owed?  See Mat 18:34 and cf. Ps 54:7, 112:8, 118:7.  Consider that with money, a debt may become so large that the indebted no longer has the means to even pay the interest owed[2], so that the debt would grow without bound and could never be paid off; we even have financial instruments called perpetuities because they pay forever; how is the indebtedness of our sins like that?  Think: while in some cases reparations can be made for one’s transgressions (a thief may pay back double, etc…), is it always possible to completely right our wrongs and undo the evil that our sins unleash?  How does this help us to understand the justice of eternal punishment?  Think: suppose one’s debt has become so great that it is impossible for it to be repaid even if he were to work for all eternity, so that he who extended to him the credit has been deprived of what is rightfully his and has no hope of recovering it; apart from mercy and forgiveness, how long would justice demand that the debtor suffer to make satisfaction for the debt[3]?  Should we expect God to pervert justice and not do what is right?  See Job 34:12, Isa 28:14-19, esp. Mat 18:17, and Isa 61:8a.  What did God do to both satisfy His justice and demonstrate His great love for man?  See Joh 3:16, Rom 5:8, Tit 3:3-7.

What does Rom 6:23 say is the wages of sin?  In the context of the complete counsel of God, are we to understand death as annihilation unto non-existence, or separation from God?  See Mat 7:23, 25:41, Luk 13:27.  What does Mat 18:25 teach us about what the spiritual death of separation from God means in terms of being sold to make satisfaction for our debts?  See Mat 25:46, Mar 9:47-48, Luk 16:22-26, Rev 14:11, 20:10-15, 21:8[4].  Does Jesus say it was only the man himself that was sold for the repayment of satisfaction to be made?  Again, what does this teach us about the grievous nature of sin that damns not only ourselves but all that belongs to us?  Cf. Exo 20:4-6, 34:6-7.  What does this teach us about the importance of belonging to the Lord and not to husbands and wives and children and parents or anyone else in this world?  See Mat 10:37, Luk 14:26.



1. Consider that just $24 that was received for Manhattan Island in 1626 grows to approximately $10,000 in 100 yrs, 4 million in 200 years, 1.5 billion in 300 years, and would be worth $250 billion today in 2011 at 6% interest.

2. In the case of the man who owed the equivalent of $6 billion, even just 1% interest amounts to $60 million / year, or over $164,000 / day.

3. By the damnation of sinners divine justice will be to eternity in the satisfying, but never satisfied.  (Matthew Henry).

4. Those that sell themselves to work wickedness, must be sold, to make satisfaction. Captives to sin are captives to wrath. He that is sold for a bond-slave is deprived of all his comforts, and has nothing left him but his life, that he may be sensible of his miseries; which is the case of damned sinners. (M. Henry).

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