Matthew 18

The Greatest in the Kingdom

At that time the disciples came to Jesus [and] asked, “Who then is [the] greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” [Jesus] invited a little child to stand among them. “Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me. But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me {to stumble} , it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Temptations and Trespasses

Woe to the world for the causes of sin. [These] stumbling blocks must come, but woe to the man through whom [they] come! If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than to have two hands [and] two feet [and] be thrown into the eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes [and] be thrown into the fire of hell.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10  See [that] you do not look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
See Luke 19:10. BYZ and TR include11 For the Son of Man came to save the lost.
12  What {do} you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go out to search for the [one] that is lost? 13  And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices more over [that one sheep] than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14  In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

A Brother who Sins

15  If your brother sins against you,
NE and WH do not include against you
go [and] confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother {over} .
16  But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by [the] testimony of two or three witnesses.’
Deuteronomy 19:15
17  If he refuses to listen to them, tell [it] to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, regard [him] as you [would] a pagan [or] a tax collector. 18  Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19  Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything [you] ask for, it will be done for [you] by My Father in heaven. 20  For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.”

The Unforgiving Servant

21  Then Peter came to [Jesus] [and] asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” 22  Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
Or seventy times seven
23  Because of this, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24  As he began the settlements, a debtor was brought to him owing ten thousand talents.
A talent was worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer
25  Since [the man] was unable to pay, the master ordered that he be sold to pay [his] debt, along with [his] wife and children and everything he owned. 26  Then the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Have patience with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’ 27  [His] master had compassion [on him] , forgave his debt, [and] released him. 28  But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.
A denarius was customarily a day's wage for a laborer (see Matthew 20:2)
He grabbed him and began to choke [him] , saying, ‘Pay back what you owe [me] .’
29  So his fellow servant fell down [and] begged him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you {back} .’ 30  But he refused. Instead, he went [and] had [the man] thrown into prison until he could pay [his] debt. 31  [When] his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went [and] recounted all [of this] to their master. 32  Then the master summoned him [and] declared, ‘ [You] wicked servant! I forgave all [your] debt because you begged me. 33  Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I [had] on you?’ 34  In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed. 35  That is how My Heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive [your] brother from your heart.”
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