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ESV — Matthew 18

Who Is the Greatest?

18 tAt that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you uturn and vbecome like children, you wwill never enter the kingdom of heaven. xWhoever humbles himself like this child is the wgreatest in the kingdom of heaven.

y“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but zwhoever causes one of these alittle ones who believe in me to sin,1 it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Temptations to Sin

“Woe to the world for btemptations to sin!2 cFor it is necessary that temptations come, dbut woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! eAnd 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 with two hands or two feet to be thrown into fthe eternal fire. eAnd 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 with two eyes to be thrown into the fhell3 of fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 “See that you do not despise gone of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven htheir angels always isee the face of my Father who is in heaven.4 12 jWhat do you think? kIf a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14 So lit is not the will of my5 Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

If Your Brother Sins Against You

15 m“If your brother sins against you, ngo and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have ogained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established pby the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, qtell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, rlet him be to you as sa Gentile and sa tax collector. 18 Truly, I say to you, twhatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed6 in heaven. 19 Again I say to you, if two of you uagree on earth about anything they ask, vit will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are wgathered in my name, xthere am I among them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often ywill my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? zAs many as seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished ato settle accounts with his servants.7 24 When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him bten thousand ctalents.8 25 dAnd since he could not pay, his master ordered him eto be sold, with his wife and fchildren and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 So the servant9 gfell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and dforgave him the debt. 28 But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred hdenarii,10 and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ 30 He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their master all that had taken place. 32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 iAnd should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34 jAnd in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,11 kuntil he should pay all his debt. 35 lSo also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother mfrom your heart.”

Footnotes

[1] 18:6 Greek causes . . . to stumble; also verses 8, 9
[2] 18:7 Greek stumbling blocks
[3] 18:9 Greek Gehenna
[4] 18:10 Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost
[5] 18:14 Some manuscripts your
[6] 18:18 Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed
[7] 18:23 Greek bondservants; also verses 28, 31
[8] 18:24 A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer
[9] 18:26 Greek bondservant; also verses 27, 28, 29, 32, 33
[10] 18:28 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer
[11] 18:34 Greek torturers