Matthew 18-20 World English Bible

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Who Is the Greatest?

18 1  In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?” 2  Jesus called a little child to himself, and set him in the midst of them, 3  and said, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. 4  Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. 5  Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me,

Temptations to Sin

6  but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him that a huge millstone should be hung around his neck, and that he should be sunk in the depths of the sea.

7  “Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling! For it must be that the occasions come, but woe to that person through whom the occasion comes! 8  If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire. 9  If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into the Gehenna [1] of fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10  See that you don’t 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. 11  For the Son of Man came to save that which was lost. 12  “What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? 13  If he finds it, most certainly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14  Even so it is not the will of your 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, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother. 16  But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. [2] 17  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector. 18  Most certainly I tell you, whatever things you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever things you release on earth will have been released in heaven. 19  Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven. 20  For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the midst of them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21  Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?” 22  Jesus said to him, “I don’t tell you until seven times, but, until seventy times seven. 23  Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants. 24  When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. [3] 25  But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26  The servant therefore fell down and kneeled before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’ 27  The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. 28  “But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii, [4] and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’ 29  “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’ 30  He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due. 31  So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told to their lord all that was done. 32  Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me. 33  Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’ 34  His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him. 35  So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”

Jesus' Teaching on Divorce

19 1  It happened when Jesus had finished these words, he departed from Galilee, and came into the borders of Judea beyond the Jordan. 2  Great multitudes followed him, and he healed them there.

3  Pharisees came to him, testing him, and saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason?” 4  He answered, “Haven’t you read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, [5] 5  and said, ‘For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother, and shall join to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh?’ [6] 6  So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, don’t let man tear apart.” 7  They asked him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a bill of divorce, and divorce her?” 8  He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it has not been so. 9  I tell you that whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries her when she is divorced commits adultery.” 10  His disciples said to him, “If this is the case of the man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.” 11  But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it is given. 12  For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

13  Then little children were brought to him, that he should lay his hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14  But Jesus said, “Allow the little children, and don’t forbid them to come to me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to ones like these.” 15  He laid his hands on them, and departed from there.

The Rich Young Ruler

16  Behold, one came to him and said, “Good teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” 17  He said to him, “Why do you call me good? [7] No one is good but one, that is, God. But if you want to enter into life, keep the commandments.” 18  He said to him, “Which ones?”

Jesus said, “‘You shall not murder.’ ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ ‘You shall not steal.’ ‘You shall not offer false testimony.’ 19  ‘Honor your father and mother.’ [8] And, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’” [9] 20  The young man said to him, “All these things I have observed from my youth. What do I still lack?” 21  Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” 22  But when the young man heard the saying, he went away sad, for he was one who had great possessions.

23  Jesus said to his disciples, “Most certainly I say to you, a rich man will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven with difficulty. 24  Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye, than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God.” 25  When the disciples heard it, they were exceedingly astonished, saying, “Who then can be saved?” 26  Looking at them, Jesus said, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” 27  Then Peter answered, “Behold, we have left everything, and followed you. What then will we have?” 28  Jesus said to them, “Most certainly I tell you that you who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man will sit on the throne of his glory, you also will sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29  Everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name’s sake, will receive one hundred times, and will inherit eternal life. 30  But many will be last who are first; and first who are last.

Laborers in the Vineyard

20 1  “For the Kingdom of Heaven is like a man who was the master of a household, who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. 2  When he had agreed with the laborers for a denarius [10] a day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3  He went out about the third hour, [11] and saw others standing idle in the marketplace. 4  To them he said, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went their way. 5  Again he went out about the sixth and the ninth hour, [12] and did likewise. 6  About the eleventh hour [13] he went out, and found others standing idle. He said to them, ‘Why do you stand here all day idle?’ 7  “They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’

“He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and you will receive whatever is right.’ 8  When evening had come, the lord of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning from the last to the first.’ 9  “When those who were hired at about the eleventh hour came, they each received a denarius. 10  When the first came, they supposed that they would receive more; and they likewise each received a denarius. 11  When they received it, they murmured against the master of the household, 12  saying, ‘These last have spent 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 answered one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Didn’t you agree with me for a denarius? 14  Take that which is yours, and go your way. It is my desire to give to this last just as much as to you. 15  Isn’t it lawful for me to do what I want to with what I own? Or is your eye evil, because I am good?’ 16  So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few are chosen.”

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

17  As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, 18  “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death, 19  and will hand him over to the Gentiles to mock, to scourge, and to crucify; and the third day he will be raised up.”

The Request of James and John

20  Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, kneeling and asking a certain thing of him. 21  He said to her, “What do you want?”

She said to him, “Command that these, my two sons, may sit, one on your right hand, and one on your left hand, in your Kingdom.” 22  But Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”

They said to him, “We are able.” 23  He said to them, “You will indeed drink my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with, but to sit on my right hand and on my left hand is not mine to give; but it is for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” 24  When the ten heard it, they were indignant with the two brothers. 25  But Jesus summoned them, and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 26  It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be [14] your servant. 27  Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant, 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  As they went out from Jericho, a great multitude followed him. 30  Behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 31  The multitude rebuked them, telling them that they should be quiet, but they cried out even more, “Lord, have mercy on us, you son of David!” 32  Jesus stood still, and called them, and asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” 33  They told him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34  Jesus, being moved with compassion, touched their eyes; and immediately their eyes received their sight, and they followed him.

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Footnotes

[1] 18:9 or, Hell

[2] 18:16 Deuteronomy 19:15

[3] 18:24 Ten thousand talents represents an extremely large sum of money, equivalent to about 60,000,000 denarii, where one denarius was typical of one day’s wages for agricultural labor.

[4] 18:28 100 denarii was about one sixtieth of a talent.

[5] 19:4 Genesis 1:27

[6] 19:5 Genesis 2:24

[7] 19:17 So MT and TR. NU reads “Why do you ask me about what is good?”

[8] 19:19 Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20

[9] 19:19 Leviticus 19:18

[10] 20:2 A denarius is a silver Roman coin worth 1/25th of a Roman aureus. This was a common wage for a day of farm labor.

[11] 20:3 Time was measured from sunrise to sunset, so the third hour would be about 9:00 AM.

[12] 20:5 noon and 3:00 P. M.

[13] 20:6 5:00 PM

[14] 20:26 TR reads “let him be” instead of “shall be”

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