Who Is the Greatest?
1At that time # Lit hour # Mk 9:33-37; Lk 9:46-48 the disciples # Mt 9:10; Mk 10:10; Lk 6:1; Jn 6:3; Ac 6:1 came to Jesus and said, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven? ” # Mt 22:24; Jn 3:35; 13:20
2Then He called a child to Him and had him stand among them. 3“I assure you,” He said, “unless you are converted # Or are turned around and become like children, # Mt 19:14; Mk 10:15; Lk 18:17; 1Co 14:20; 1Pt 2:2 you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. # Mt 5:20; 7:21; 19:23-24; Mk 9:47; Jn 3:5 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child — this one is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5And whoever welcomes # Or receives one child like this in My name welcomes Me.
6“But whoever causes the downfall of one of these little ones who believe in Me — it would be better for him if a heavy millstone # A millstone turned by a donkey were hung around his neck and he were drowned in the depths of the sea! # Mk 9:42; Lk 17:2; 1Co 8:12 7Woe to the world because of offenses. For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes. # Mt 26:24; Lk 17:1; 1Co 11:19 8If your hand or your foot causes your downfall, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into the eternal fire. # Mt 5:30; 25:41; Mk 9:43 9And if your eye causes your downfall, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, rather than to have two eyes and be thrown into hellfire! # Lit gehenna of fire # Mt 5:22,29; Mk 9:47
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10“See that you don’t look down on one of these little ones, # Est 1:14; Lk 1:19; Rv 8:2 because I tell you that in heaven their angels # Ps 34:7; 91:11; Heb 1:14 continually view the face of My Father in heaven. # Mt 6:29; 25:40,45; Lk 15:7,10 11For the Son of Man # Mk 2:10; Jn 2:25 has come to save the lost. # Other mss omit bracketed text 12What do you think? # Lk 15:1-7 If a man has 100 sheep, and one of them goes astray, won’t he leave the 99 on the hillside and go and search for the stray? # Mt 17:25; 21:28 13And if he finds it, I assure you: He rejoices over that sheep # Lit over it more than over the 99 that did not go astray. 14In the same way, it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones perish.
Restoring a Brother
15“If your brother sins against you, # Other mss omit against you go and rebuke him in private. # Lit him between you and him alone If he listens to you, you have won your brother. # Lv 19:17; Lk 17:3; Gl 6:1; 2Th 3:15; Jms 5:19; 1Pt 3:1 16But if he won’t listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony # Lit mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be established. # Nm 35:30; Jn 8:17; 2Co 13:1; 1Tm 5:19; Heb 10:28 # Dt 19:15 17If he pays no attention to them, tell the church. # Or congregation # Mt 16:18; 1Co 14:4; Rv 1:4 But if he doesn’t pay attention even to the church, let him be like an unbeliever # Or like a Gentile and a tax collector to you. # Rm 16:17; 1Co 5:9; 6:1-6; 2Th 3:6,14; 2Jn 10 18I assure you: Whatever you bind on earth is already bound # Or earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth is already loosed # Or earth will be loosed in heaven. # Mt 16:19; Jn 20:23 19Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you # Lit they pray for, it will be done for you # Lit for them by My Father in heaven. 20For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them.”
The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave
21Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how many times could my brother sin against me and I forgive him? As many as seven times? ” # Lk 17:3-4; Col 3:13
22“I tell you, not as many as seven,” Jesus said to him, “but 70 times seven. # Or but 77 times 23For this reason, the kingdom of heaven can be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began to settle accounts, one who owed 10,000 talents # A huge sum of money that could never be repaid by a slave; a talent = 6,000 denarii was brought before him. 25Since he had no way to pay it back, his master commanded that he, his wife, his children, and everything he had be sold to pay the debt. # Ex 21:2; Lv 25:39; 2Kg 4:1; Neh 5:5,8; Lk 7:42
26“At this, the slave fell facedown before him and said, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you everything! ’ 27Then the master of that slave had compassion, released him, and forgave him the loan.
28“But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him 100 denarii. # A small sum compared to 10,000 talents # Mt 20:2; 22:19; Mk 6:37; 14:5; Lk 7:41; 10:35; Jn 6:7 He grabbed him, started choking him, and said, ‘Pay what you owe! ’
29“At this, his fellow slave fell down # Other mss add at his feet and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’ 30But he wasn’t willing. On the contrary, he went and threw him into prison until he could pay what was owed. 31When the other slaves saw what had taken place, they were deeply distressed and went and reported to their master everything that had happened.
32“Then, after he had summoned him, his master said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you? ’ # Mt 6:12; Eph 4:32; Col 3:13; 1Jn 4:11 34And his master got angry and handed him over to the jailers to be tortured until he could pay everything that was owed. 35So My heavenly Father will also do to you if each of you does not forgive his brother # Other mss add his trespasses from his # Lit your heart.” # Pr 21:13; Mt 6:14; Jms 2:13