Matthew 18-19 New Revised Standard Version

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Who Is the Greatest?

18 1  At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2  He called a child, whom he put among them, 3  and said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4  Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5  Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.

Temptations to Sin

6  "If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7  Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes! 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 lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9  And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell of fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10  "Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 11   12  What do you think? If a shepherd 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 tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14  So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.

A Brother Who Sins

15  "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. 16  But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17  If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and 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, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20  For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21  Then Peter came and said to him, "Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?" 22  Jesus said to him, "Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times. 23  "For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24  When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25  and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26  So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.' 27  And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28  But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, "Pay what you owe.' 29  Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, "Have patience with me, and I will pay you.' 30  But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31  When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32  Then his lord summoned him and said to him, "You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33  Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?' 34  And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35  So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart."

Jesus' Teaching on Divorce

19 1  When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2  Large crowds followed him, and he cured them there.

3  Some Pharisees came to him, and to test him they asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?" 4  He answered, "Have you not read that the one who made them at the beginning "made them male and female,' 5  and said, "For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'? 6  So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." 7  They said to him, "Why then did Moses command us to give a certificate of dismissal and to divorce her?" 8  He said to them, "It was because you were so hard-hearted that 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 unchastity, and marries another commits adultery." 10  His 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 accept this teaching, 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 others, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Let anyone accept this who can."

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13  Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; 14  but Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs." 15  And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

The Rich Young Ruler

16  Then someone came to him and said, "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 wish to enter into 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; also, You shall love your neighbor as yourself." 20  The young man said to him, "I have kept all these; what do I still lack?" 21  Jesus said to him, "If you wish to be perfect, go, sell your possessions, and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me." 22  When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions.

23  Then Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly I tell you, it will be hard for a rich person to 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 someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God." 25  When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astounded and said, "Then who can be saved?" 26  But Jesus looked at them and said, "For mortals it is impossible, but for God all things are possible." 27  Then Peter said in reply, "Look, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have?" 28  Jesus said to them, "Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man is seated on the throne of his glory, 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 fields, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and will inherit eternal life. 30  But many who are first will be last, and the last will be first.

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