The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked,
“Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child, whom he placed among them.
3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and
become like little children, you will never enter the
kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes a humble
place—becoming like this child—is the greatest in the
kingdom of heaven. 5 And 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 if a
large millstone were hung around their neck and they were
drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe 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! 8 If
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. 9 And 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 “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? 13 And 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. 14 In 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 a brother or sister sins, go and point out the
fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you,
you have won them over. 16 But 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.’ 17
If 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 you ask for, it will be done for
you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come
together in my name, there am I with them.”
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many
times shall I forgive someone who sins against me? Up to
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but
23 “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king
who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he
began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags
of gold was brought to him. 25 Since 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 “The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be
patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back
everything.’ 27 The 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 you back.’
30 “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the
man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When
the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly
distressed and went and told their master everything that
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. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on
your fellow servant just as I had on you?’ 34 In 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 a brother or sister from your heart.”