Matthew 18:32 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 18:32, NIV: "Then the master called the servant in. 'You wicked servant,' he said, 'I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to."

Matthew 18:32, ESV: "Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me."

Matthew 18:32, KJV: "Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:"

Matthew 18:32, NASB: "'Then summoning him, his lord said to him, 'You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me."

Matthew 18:32, NLT: "Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, 'You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me."

Matthew 18:32, CSB: "Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me."

What does Matthew 18:32 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The distress of a man's fellow servants has now become the fury of his king. Those servants have reported to the king that the same man he had forgiven for an unrepayable debt had turned around and thrown another servant in jail for a ridiculously smaller debt. The one who had been forgiven all refused to forgive any (Matthew 18:23–31).

The master, the king, calls the servant back into his presence and then calls him wicked. The king reminds him that he just forgave the enormous debt because the man pleaded with him. One can only imagine the anger the king would have expressed. This will not go well.

Jesus' point is obvious now. God has forgiven those who believe in Jesus of an enormous, unpayable debt of sin instead of sending us away to the fires of hell. Should that change the way we think about forgiving each other? How can someone who is a born-again believer fail to appreciate the debt they've been forgiven? Does such a person even understand their own relationship to God (Matthew 6:14–15)? That, in fact, is the point Christ will make in the next verses (Matthew 18:35).