Matthew 18

Who Is the Greatest?

1 At that time
Lit hour
b the disciples c came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” d

2 Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. 3
I assure you: This is a phrase used only by Jesus to testify to the certainty and importance of His words; in Mt, Mk and Lk it is literally Amen, I say to you, and in Jn it is literally Amen, amen, I say to you.
I assure you,
” He said, “unless you are converted
Or are turned around
and become like children, g you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. h
4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child – this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes
Or receives
one child like this in My name welcomes Me.

6 “But whoever
cause the downfall of/ causes to sin: The Greek word skandalizo has a root meaning of "snare" or "trap," but has no real English counterpart.
causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me – it would be better for him if a heavy millstone
A millstone turned by a donkey
were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! l
7 Woe to the world because of
cause the downfall of/ causes to sin: The Greek word skandalizo has a root meaning of "snare" or "trap," but has no real English counterpart.
offenses. For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes. n
8 If your hand or your foot causes your downfall, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. o 9 And if your eye causes your downfall, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, rather than to have two eyes and be thrown into
hell/hellfire: Greek Gehenna; Aramaic for Valley of Hinnom on the south side of Jerusalem; it was formerly a place of human sacrifice and in NT times a place for the burning of garbage; the place of final judgment for those rejecting Christ.
Lit gehenna of fire

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 “See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones, s because I tell you that in heaven their angels t continually view the face of My Father in heaven. u [ 11For the
Son of Man: The most frequent title Jesus used for Himself; Dn 7:13
Son of Man w has come to save the lost.]
Other mss omit bracketed text

12 What do you think? y If a man has 100 sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the 99 on the hillside and go and search for the stray? z 13 And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep
Lit over it
more than over the 99 that did not go astray.
14In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

Restoring a Brother

15 “If your brother sins against you,
Other mss omit against you
go and rebuke him in private.
Lit him between you and him alone
If he listens to you, you have won your brother. ad
16 But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony
Lit mouth
of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.
af , ag
17 If he pays no attention to them, tell the church.
Or congregation
ai But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever
Or like a Gentile
and a tax collector to you. ak
18I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound
Or earth will be bound
in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed
Or earth will be loosed
in heaven. an
19 Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you
Lit they
pray for, it will be done for you
Lit for them
by My Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave

21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” aq

22“I tell you, not as many as seven,Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven.
Or but 77 times
23For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his
slave: The strong Greek word doulos cannot be accurately translated in English by "servant" or "bond servant"; the HCSB translates this word as "slave," not out of insensitivity to the legitimate concerns of modern English speakers, but out of a commitment to accurately convey the brutal reality of the Roman empire's inhumane institution as well as the ownership called for by Christ.
24 When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents
A huge sum of money that could never be repaid by a slave; a talent = 6,000 denarii
was brought before him.
25Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. au

26“At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything!’ 27 Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan.

28 “But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100
denarius: A small silver Roman coin, which was equal to a day's wage for a common laborer
A small sum compared to 10,000 talents
ax He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’

29“At this, his fellow slave fell down
Other mss add at his feet
and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’
30 But he wasn’t willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. 31When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened.

32 “Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33 Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ az 34 And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. 35 So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother
Other mss add his trespasses
from his
Lit your
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