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Matthew 18

18
The Most Important Person in the Kingdom
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked him, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2Jesus called a little child over and had them stand in the middle of the group. 3Jesus then said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you’ll never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever becomes humble like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And anyone who welcomes a child like this one in my name welcomes me.
Don’t Cause People to Sin
6“But what if someone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around their neck and drown at the bottom. 7Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to sin! Things like that must come. Woe to the person who causes them! 8If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter life with only one hand or foot than to go with two hands or two feet into hell, where the fire burns forever. 9If your eye causes you to sin, pull it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter life with one eye than to be thrown into the fire of hell with two eyes.
The Story of the Lost Sheep
10-11“Make sure you don’t look down on one of these little ones. I tell you, their angels in heaven see face to face my Father who is in heaven.
12“What do you think? Suppose a man owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders away. Won’t he leave the 99 sheep on the hills and go look for the one that wandered off? 13Truly I tell you, if he finds that sheep, he’ll be happier about it than about the 99 that didn’t wander off. 14It’s the same with your Father in heaven. He doesn’t want any of these little ones to be lost.
When Someone Sins Against You
15“If your brother or sister sins against you, go and tell them privately what they’ve done wrong. If they listen to you, you’ve won them back. 16But if they won’t listen to you, return with one or two others. Scripture says, ‘Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.’ 17If they still refuse to listen, then tell it to the community of believers. And if they refuse to listen even to the community, then treat them the way you would treat an unbeliever or a traitor.
18“Truly I tell you, what you tie up on earth will be tied up in heaven, and what you set free on earth will be set free in heaven.
19“Again, I tell you truly, if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20Where two or three people gather in my name, I am there with them.”
The Servant Who Had No Mercy
21Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times should I forgive a brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “Not seven times, I tell you, but 77 times.
23“The kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to collect all the money his servants owed him. 24First, they brought him a man who owed 10,000 bags of gold. 25Since he wasn’t able to pay, his master ordered the man, his wife, his children, and everything he owned to be sold to pay back the debt.
26“Then the servant got down on his knees in front of him. ‘Give me time,’ he begged, ‘and I’ll pay everything back.’ 27His master felt sorry for him, so he forgave him what he owed and let him go.
28“But then that servant went out and found another servant, who owed him 100 silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.
29“The other servant got down on his knees. ‘Give me time,’ he begged him, ‘and I’ll pay it back.’
30“But the first servant refused. Instead, he went and had the man thrown into prison until he paid back what he owed. 31When the other servants saw this, it made them very angry. They went and told their master everything that had happened.
32“Then the master called the first servant back in. ‘You ungrateful servant,’ he said. ‘I forgave you everything you owed because you begged me to. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on the other servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34The master was so angry that handed him over to the jailers to be punished until he paid back everything he owed.
35“That’s how my Father in heaven will treat each of you if you don’t forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”

Matthew 18

18
The Greatest in the Kingdom
(Mark 9:33–41; Luke 9:46–50)
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who then is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2Jesus invited a little child to stand among them. 3“Truly I tell you,” He said, “unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.
Temptations and Trespasses
(Mark 9:42–48; Luke 17:1–4)
6But 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.
7Woe to the world for the causes of sin. These stumbling blocks must come, but woe to the man through whom they come!
8If 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. 9And 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.#18:9 Or the hell of fire; Greek the Gehenna of fire
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
(Luke 15:1–7)
10See 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.#18:10 BYZ and TR include 11 For the Son of Man came to save the lost; see Luke 19:10.
12What 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? 13And 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. 14In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
A Brother Who Sins
(Deuteronomy 19:15–21)
15If your brother sins against you,#18:15 NE and WH do not include against you. go and confront him privately. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. 16But 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.’#18:16 Deuteronomy 19:15 17If 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.
18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
Ask in My Name
(John 16:23–33)
19Again, 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. 20For where two or three gather together in My name, there am I with them.”
The Unforgiving Servant
(Romans 12:14–21)
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!#18:22 Or seventy times seven; see Genesis 4:24 LXX
23Because of this, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24As he began the settlements, a debtor was brought to him owing ten thousand talents.#18:24 A talent was worth about twenty years’ wages for a laborer. 25Since 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.
26Then the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Have patience with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’
27His master had compassion on him, forgave his debt, and released him.
28But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.#18:28 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!’
29So his fellow servant fell down and begged him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you back.’
30But he refused. Instead, he went and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay his debt.
31When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and recounted all of this to their master.
32Then the master summoned him and declared, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave all your debt because you begged me. 33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had on you?’ 34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should repay all that he owed.
35That is how My heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”