1At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”2He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.3And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.4Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.5And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Causing to Stumble
6“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.7Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!8If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.9And if your eye causes you to stumble, 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.
The Parable of the Wandering Sheep
10-11“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.12“What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.14In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Dealing With Sin in the Church
15“If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.16But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’17If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.18“Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.19“Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.20For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”22Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.23“Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.26“At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.28“But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.29“His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.’30“But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.32“Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’34In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.35“This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
English Standard Version
Who Is the Greatest?
1At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Mt 17:24; Mt 20:20; Mr 9:33; Lu 9:46)2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them3and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Ps 131:2; Mt 5:19; Mt 19:14; Mr 10:15; Lu 18:17; Lu 22:32; 1Co 14:20; 1Pe 2:2)4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. (Mt 18:3; Mt 20:27; Mt 23:11)5“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, (Mt 10:40; Mt 10:42)6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, 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. (Mr 9:42; Lu 17:2; 1Co 8:12)
Temptations to Sin
7“Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! (Mt 13:41; Mt 26:24; Lu 17:1; 1Co 11:19)8And 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 the eternal fire. (Mt 5:29; Mt 25:41; Mr 9:43)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 with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire. (Mt 18:8)
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. (Es 1:14; Ps 34:7; Ps 91:11; Mt 6:29; Mt 25:40; Mt 25:45; Lu 1:19; Lu 15:7; Lu 15:10; Ac 12:15; Heb 1:14; Re 8:2)12What do you think? If 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? (Mt 17:25; Mt 21:28; Lu 15:4)13And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.14So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish. (Joh 6:39; Joh 10:28; Joh 17:12)
21Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” (Mt 18:15; Lu 17:3; Col 3:13)22Jesus 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 to settle accounts with his servants. (Mt 25:19)24When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. (Es 3:9; Mt 25:15)25And since he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made. (Ex 21:2; Le 25:39; 2Ki 4:1; Ne 5:5; Lu 7:42)26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ (Mt 8:2; Ac 10:25)27And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. (Mt 18:25)28But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ (Mt 20:2; Mt 22:19; Mr 6:37; Mr 14:5; Lu 7:41; Lu 10:35; Joh 6:7)29So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’30He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt.31When 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.32Then his master summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.33And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ (Mt 6:12; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; 1Jo 4:11)34And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. (Mt 5:25; Mt 18:30; Jas 2:13)35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.” (Pr 21:13; Mt 6:15; Ro 6:17; 1Pe 1:22)