Who Is the Greatest?
1 # ch. 17:24; For ver. 1-5, see Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48; [ch. 20:20-28] At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you #See Luke 22:32 turn and #ch. 19:14; Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17; [Ps. 131:2; 1 Cor. 14:20; 1 Pet. 2:2] become like children, you #[ch. 5:19, 20]will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4#ch. 20:27; 23:11, 12 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the #[See ver. 3 above]greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 # [ch. 10:40, 42] “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6but #Mark 9:42 whoever causes one of these #Luke 17:2; [1 Cor. 8:12]little ones who believe in me to sin,#18:6 Greek causes . . . to stumble; also verses 8, 9 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
7 “Woe to the world for # See ch. 13:41 temptations to sin! # 18:7 Greek stumbling blocks #
Luke 17:1; See 1 Cor. 11:19 For it is necessary that temptations come, # ch. 26:24 but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8#ch. 5:29, 30; Mark 9:43-48 And 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 #See ch. 25:41the eternal fire. 9#[See ver. 8 above] And 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 #[See ver. 8 above]hell#18:9 Greek Gehenna of fire.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise # [ch. 6:29; 25:40, 45; Luke 15:7, 10] one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven #
Acts 12:15; [Ps. 34:7; 91:11; Heb. 1:14] their angels always #
Luke 1:19; Rev. 8:2; [Esth. 1:14] see the face of my Father who is in heaven. # 18:10 Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost 12#ch. 17:25; 21:28 What do you think? #For ver. 12-14, [Luke 15:4-7]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? 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 #John 6:39; 10:28; [John 17:12]it is not the will of my#18:14 Some manuscripts your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
If Your Brother Sins Against You
Luke 17:3 “If your brother sins against you, #
2 Thess. 3:15; [Titus 3:10; James 5:19]; See Lev. 19:17 go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have #
1 Cor. 9:19-22; 1 Pet. 3:1 gained your brother. 16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established #Deut. 19:15; 2 Cor. 13:1; [Num. 35:30; John 8:17; 1 Tim. 5:19; Heb. 10:28]by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17If he refuses to listen to them, #[1 Cor. 5:4, 5; 6:1-6] tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, #[Rom. 16:17; 1 Cor. 5:9-13; 2 Thess. 3:6, 14; 2 John 10] let him be to you as #ch. 5:46, 47a Gentile and #ch. 5:46, 47a tax collector. 18Truly, I say to you, #[ch. 16:19; John 20:23]whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed#18:18 Or shall have been bound . . . shall have been loosed in heaven. 19Again I say to you, if two of you #[Acts 12:5, 12; Philem. 22] agree on earth about anything they ask, #See ch. 7:7it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are #[Acts 4:30, 31; 1 Cor. 5:4] gathered in my name, #[ch. 28:20; John 12:26; 20:20, 26]there am I among them.”
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often #ver. 15 will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? #Luke 17:3, 4; [Col. 3:13]As many as seven times?” 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 # ch. 25:19 to settle accounts with his servants. # 18:23 Or bondservants ; also verses 28, 31 24When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him #Esth. 3:9 ten thousand #ch. 25:15talents.#18:24 A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years’ wages for a laborer 25#[Luke 7:42] And since he could not pay, his master ordered him #Ex. 21:2; Lev. 25:39 to be sold, with his wife and #2 Kgs. 4:1; Neh. 5:5children and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26So the servant#18:26 Or bondservant; also verses 27, 28, 29, 32, 33#Acts 10:25; See ch. 8:2fell on his knees, imploring him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and #[See ver. 25 above]forgave him the debt. 28But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred #ch. 20:2; 22:19; Mark 6:37; 14:5; Luke 7:41; 10:35; John 6:7denarii,#18:28 A denarius was a day’s wage for a laborer and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe.’ 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. 33#[ch. 6:12; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13; 1 John 4:11]And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’ 34#See James 2:13 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,#18:34 Greek torturers#ver. 30; [ch. 5:25, 26]until he should pay all his debt. 35#ch. 6:15; [Prov. 21:13] So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother #1 Pet. 1:22; [Rom. 6:17]from your heart.”