Lesson 19 - “How Often Shall I Forgive?” - Matthew 18.21-35
ID: Inductive Questions (Asking the text questions like who, what, where, when, why, & how?”)
CR: Cross References (Comparing Scripture to Scripture, understanding the vague by the clear.)
WS: Word Study (Understanding definition, theological meaning, and usages in other passages.)
The WORD: What does the Bible say?
It is important to understand the Guidelines for Interpreting Jesus’ Parables. Even in a brief study like this it would be helpful to at least do a quick review of key principles for interpreting a parable. You will also want to use your Bible study tools to research the cultural setting of this parable in order to understand things like kings, debt, tormenters, etc.
1. Context: What is the occasion of this parable? That is … 1) What event(s), problem, other teaching(s) prompted this parable? 2) To whom did Jesus address this parable?
2. ID: List the similarities and differences between the appeal and response of servant and the king (24-27) and appeal and response of servant with the servant (28-30)?
3. Food for Thought: Why do you think his fellow servants were “grieved”? Why did they tell the master?
4. Food for Thought: Why do you think the first servant was unforgiving and impatient with the second servant?
5. WS: What is the connection between the words patience (makrothymeō) in verses 26 and 29 and the words compassion (splagchnizomai) in verse 27 and compassion/pity (eleeō)in verse 33 and the word
6. CR: (35) Does this verse teach about judicial forgiveness or relational forgiveness?
7. ID: What is the main idea or central point of this parable? (See the comments by Dr. David Stark.)
The WALK: What should I do?
1. Why is it hard to forgive people who keep doing the same thing wrong over and over?
2. Is it right to withhold forgiveness until we are feel the offender is properly repentant?
3. Who owes you “100 denarii”? Would the word compassion or pity currently describe your attitude and response?
4. Has the realization of how much you have been forgiven by God helped to fuel your ability and willingness to forgive someone?
5. What causes us to be stingy or incomplete with our forgiveness?
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Chicago Statement on Biblical Hermeneutics with commentary by Norman L. Geisler
WE AFFIRM that legitimate critical techniques should be used in determining the canonical text and its meaning.
WE DENY the legitimacy of allowing any method of biblical criticism to question the truth or integrity of the writer's expressed meaning, or of any other scriptural teaching.
WE AFFIRM the unity, harmony and consistency of Scripture and declare that it is its own best interpreter.
WE DENY that Scripture may be interpreted in such a way as to suggest that one passage corrects or militates against another. We deny that later writers of Scripture misinterpreted earlier passages of Scripture when quoting from or referring to them.
WE AFFIRM that the Bible's own interpretation of itself is always correct, never deviating from, but rather elucidating, the single meaning of the inspired text. The single meaning of a prophet's words includes, but is not restricted to, the understanding of those words by the prophet and necessarily involves the intention of God evidenced in the fulfillment of those words.
WE DENY that the writers of Scripture always understood the full implications of their own words.