Matthew 18
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True Greatness

(Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48)

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom froma heaven?”

2Calling a little child forward, he had him stand among them. 3Then he said, “I tell all of youb with certainty, unless you changec and become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom fromd heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom frome heaven, 5and whoever receives a little child like this in my name receives me.”

Causing Others to Sin

(Mark 9:42-48; Luke 17:1-2)

6“If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea. 7How terrible it will be for the world due to its temptations to sin! Temptations to sin are bound to happen, but how terrible it will be for that person who causes someone to sin!

8“So 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 injured or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to sin, tear 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 hellf fire.

10“See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones, because I tell you, their angels in heaven always have access to my Father in heaven. 11For the Son of Man came to save the lost.”g

The Parable about the Faithful Shepherd

(Luke 15:1-7)

12“What do you think? If a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays, he leaves the 99 in the hills and goes to look for the one that has strayed, doesn’t he? 13If he finds it, I tell all of youh with certainty that he rejoices over it more than over the 99 that haven’t strayed. 14In the same way, it is not the will of youri Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”

Dealing with a Brother who Sins

(Luke 17:3)

15“If your brother sins against you,j go and confront him while the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two others with you so that ‘every word may be confirmed by the testimonyk of two or three witnesses.’l 17If, however, he ignores them, tell it to the congregation.m If he also ignores the congregation,n regard him as an unbelievero and a tax collector.

18“I tell all of youp with certainty, whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibitedq in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permittedr in heaven. 19Furthermore, I tell all of yous with certainty that if two of you agree on earth about anything you request, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven, 20because where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.”

The Parable about an Unforgiving Servant

21Then Peter came up and asked him, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? Seven times?”

22Jesus told him, “I tell you, not just seven times, but 77 times!t 23“That is why the kingdom fromu heaven may be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24When he had begun to settle the accounts, a person who owed him 10,000 talentsv was brought to him. 25Because he couldn’t pay, his master ordered him, his wife, his children, and everything that he owned to be sold so that payment could be made. 26Then the servant fell down and bowed low before him, saying, ‘Be patientw with me, and I will repay you everything!’ 27The master of that servant had compassion and released him, canceling his debt.

28“But when that servant went away, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.x He grabbed him, seized him by the throat, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’ 29Then his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me and I will repay you!’ 30But he refused and had him thrown into prison until he could repay the debt.

31“When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were very disturbed and went and reported to their master everything that had occurred. 32Then his master sent for him and told him, ‘You evil servant! I canceled that entire debt for you because you begged me. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34In anger his master handed him over to the jailers until he could repay the entire debt. 35This is how my heavenly Father will treat each one of you unless you forgive your brother from your hearts.”

a 18:1 Lit. of
b 18:3 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
c 18:3 Lit. turn
d 18:3 Lit. of
e 18:4 Lit. of
f 18:9 Lit. Gehenna; a Gk. transliteration of the Heb. for Valley of Hinnom
g 18:11 Other mss. lack this verse.
h 18:13 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
i 18:14 Other mss. read our; still other mss. read my
j 18:15 Other mss. lack against you
k 18:16 Lit. mouth
l 18:16 Cf. Deut 19:15
m 18:17 Or church
n 18:17 Or church
o 18:17 Lit. gentile ; i.e. an unbelieving non-Jew
p 18:18 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
q 18:18 Or will be prohibited
r 18:18 Or will be permitted
s 18:19 The Gk. pronoun you is pl.
t 18:22 Or seventy times seven
u 18:23 Lit. of
v 18:24 10,000 talents is the price paid in silver by Haman to King Ahasuerus as a bribe to annihilate the Jews; Cf. Esther 3:9; a talent was worth a lifetime of wages for an average laborer
w 18:26 Other mss. read Master, be patient
x 18:28 The denarius was the usual day’s wage for a laborer.

The Holy Bible: International Standard Version® Release 2.1
Copyright © 1996-2012 The ISV Foundation

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