Matthew 18-20 English Standard Version

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Who Is the Greatest?

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2  And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3  and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4   Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5   "Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me,

Temptations to Sin

6  but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[1] 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.

7  "Woe to the world for temptations to sin![2] For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8   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 the eternal fire. 9   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 hell[3] of fire.

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.[4] 12   What 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? 13  And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14  So it is not the will of my[5] Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

A Brother Who Sins

15   "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16  But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. 18  Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[6] in heaven. 19  Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20  For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21  Then 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?" 22  Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.[7] 23  "Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.[8] 24  When he began to settle, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.[9] 25   And 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. 26  So the servant[10] fell on his knees, imploring him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27  And out of pity for him, the master of that servant released him and forgave him the debt. 28  But when that same servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii,[11] and seizing him, he began to choke him, saying, 'Pay what you owe.' 29  So his fellow servant fell down and pleaded with him, 'Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30  He refused and went and put him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31  When 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. 32  Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33   And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34   And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers,[12] until he should pay all his debt. 35   So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

Jesus' Teaching on Divorce

19 Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2  And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3  And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?" 4  He answered, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5  and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6  So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate." 7  They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?" 8  He said to them, "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9   And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery."[13] 10  The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry." 11  But he said to them, "Not everyone can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. 12  For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let the one who is able to receive this receive it."

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13  Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, 14  but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." 15  And he laid his hands on them and went away.

The Rich Young Ruler

16  And behold, a man came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" 17  And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments." 18  He said to him, "Which ones?" And Jesus said, "You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, 19  Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 20  The young man said to him, "All these I have kept. What do I still lack?" 21  Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me." 22  When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

23  And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, only with difficulty will a rich person enter the kingdom of heaven. 24   Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." 25  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?" 26  But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." 27  Then Peter said in reply, "See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?" 28  Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world,[14] when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29   And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold[15] and will inherit eternal life. 30  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Laborers in the Vineyard

20 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2  After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius[16] a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3  And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace, 4  and to them he said, 'You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.' 5  So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. 6  And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, 'Why do you stand here idle all day?' 7  They said to him, 'Because no one has hired us.' He said to them, 'You go into the vineyard too.' 8  And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, 'Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.' 9  And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. 10  Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. 11  And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, 12  saying, 'These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.' 13  But he replied to one of them, 'Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14  Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. 15   Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?'[17] 16  So the last will be first, and the first last."

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

17  And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18  "See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death 19  and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day."

The Request of James and John

20  Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. 21  And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." 22  Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." 23  He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." 24  And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. 25  But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26   It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,[18] 27  and whoever would be first among you must be your slave,[19] 28  even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Two Blind Men Receive Sight

29  And as they went out of Jericho, a great crowd followed him. 30  And behold, there were two blind men sitting by the roadside, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, "Lord,[20] have mercy on us, Son of David!" 31  The crowd rebuked them, telling them to be silent, but they cried out all the more, "Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David!" 32  And stopping, Jesus called them and said, "What do you want me to do for you?" 33  They said to him, "Lord, let our eyes be opened." 34  And Jesus in pity touched their eyes, and immediately they recovered their sight and followed him.

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Footnotes

[1] 18:6 Greek causes... to stumble; also verses 8, 9

[2] 18:7 Greek stumbling blocks

[3] 18:9 Greek Gehenna

[4] 18:10 Some manuscripts add verse 11: For the Son of Man came to save the lost

[5] 18:14 Some manuscripts your

[6] 18:18 Or shall have been bound... shall have been loosed

[7] 18:22 Or seventy-seven times

[8] 18:23 Greek bondservants; also verses 28, 31

[9] 18:24 A talent was a monetary unit worth about twenty years' wages for a laborer

[10] 18:26 Greek bondservant; also verses 27, 28, 29, 32, 33

[11] 18:28 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer

[12] 18:34 Greek torturers

[13] 19:9 Some manuscripts add and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery; other manuscripts except for sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery

[14] 19:28 Greek in the regeneration

[15] 19:29 Some manuscripts manifold

[16] 20:2 A denarius was a day's wage for a laborer

[17] 20:15 Or is your eye bad because I am good?

[18] 20:26 Greek diakonos

[19] 20:27 Greek bondservant (doulos)

[20] 20:30 Some manuscripts omit Lord

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