1At that time the disciples came to Jesus. They asked him, “Who is the most important person in the kingdom of heaven?”
2Jesus called a little child over to him. He had the child stand among them.
3Jesus said, “What I'm about to tell you is true. You need to change and become like little children. If you don't, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4Anyone who becomes as free of pride as this child is the most important in the kingdom of heaven.
5“Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me.
6“But what if someone leads one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? If he does, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be drowned at the bottom of the sea.
7“How terrible it will be for the world because of the things that lead people to sin! Things like that must come. But how terrible for those who cause them!
8“If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of heaven with only one hand or one foot than to go into hell with two hands and two feet. In hell the fire burns forever.
9If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of heaven with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.
15“If your brother sins against you, go to him. Tell him what he did wrong. Keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him back.
16“But what if he won't listen to you? Then take one or two others with you. Scripture says, ‘Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.’
17But what if he also refuses to listen to the witnesses? Then tell it to the church. And what if he refuses to listen even to the church? Then don't treat him as your brother. Treat him as you would treat an ungodly person or a tax collector.
18“What I'm about to tell you is true. What you lock on earth will be locked in heaven. What you unlock on earth will be unlocked in heaven.
19“Again, here is what I tell you. Suppose 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 meet together in my name, I am there with them.”