Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“True Greatness within the Community (Matthew 18:1-35)” pp. 225-236.
In Matthew chapter 18 Jesus gives his disciples some clarification about the kingdom he is establishing. It is to be more similar to a loving family than to the realm of an earthly master (Mitch 2010, 225). Mitch reflects on the context of the passage and suggests that the question of the greatest in the kingdom of heaven is spurred on by Jesus’ apparent elevation of Peter since 16:16 (Mitch 2010, 226). The conclusion is that those who seem culturally less significant are great in the kingdom (Mitch 2010, 227). Jesus warns against sin which causes stumbling, brings evil to the world, and finally condemns (Mitch 2010, 227). The kingdom of God eventually is a place without such sin.
To illustrate this, Jesus points out the existence and work of guardian angels and the care of a shepherd for every sheep (Mitch 2010, 229). Again, the pattern of correction and restoration found in verses 15-20 shows a concern for those who are harmed by their own sin (Mitch 2010, 231).
Verses 21-35 include a parable in which we are told how to deal personally with sins against us (Mitch 2010, 233). With Peter acting as the speaker for the disciples, Jesus uses a hyperbolic statement to require boundless forgiveness (Mitch 2010, 234).