The Message

Matthew 18

Whoever Becomes Simple Again

1At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”

2-5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.

6-7 “But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you’ll soon wish you hadn’t. You’d be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around your neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to you if you do.

8-9 “If your hand or your foot gets in the way of God, chop it off and throw it away. You’re better off maimed or lame and alive than the proud owners of two hands and two feet, godless in a furnace of eternal fire. And if your eye distracts you from God, pull it out and throw it away. You’re better off one-eyed and alive than exercising your twenty-twenty vision from inside the fire of hell.

10 “Watch that you don’t treat a single one of these childlike believers arrogantly. You realize, don’t you, that their personal angels are constantly in touch with my Father in heaven?

Work It Out Between You

12-14 “Look at it this way. If someone has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders off, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine and go after the one? And if he finds it, doesn’t he make far more over it than over the ninety-nine who stay put? Your Father in heaven feels the same way. He doesn’t want to lose even one of these simple believers.

15-17 “If a fellow believer hurts you, go and tell him—work it out between the two of you. If he listens, you’ve made a friend. If he won’t listen, take one or two others along so that the presence of witnesses will keep things honest, and try again. If he still won’t listen, tell the church. If he won’t listen to the church, you’ll have to start over from scratch, confront him with the need for repentance, and offer again God’s forgiving love.

18-20 “Take this most seriously: A yes on earth is yes in heaven; a no on earth is no in heaven. What you say to one another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be there.”

A Story About Forgiveness

21 At that point Peter got up the nerve to ask, “Master, how many times do I forgive a brother or sister who hurts me? Seven?”

22 Jesus replied, “Seven! Hardly. Try seventy times seven.

23-25 “The kingdom of God is like a king who decided to square accounts with his servants. As he got under way, one servant was brought before him who had run up a debt of a hundred thousand dollars. He couldn’t pay up, so the king ordered the man, along with his wife, children, and goods, to be auctioned off at the slave market.

26-27 “The poor wretch threw himself at the king’s feet and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ Touched by his plea, the king let him off, erasing the debt.

28 “The servant was no sooner out of the room when he came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him ten dollars. He seized him by the throat and demanded, ‘Pay up. Now!’

29-31 “The poor wretch threw himself down and begged, ‘Give me a chance and I’ll pay it all back.’ But he wouldn’t do it. He had him arrested and put in jail until the debt was paid. When the other servants saw this going on, they were outraged and brought a detailed report to the king.

32-35 “The king summoned the man and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave your entire debt when you begged me for mercy. Shouldn’t you be compelled to be merciful to your fellow servant who asked for mercy?’ The king was furious and put the screws to the man until he paid back his entire debt. And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

Knijga O Kristu

Evanđelje po Mateju 18

Tko je najveći u kraljevstvu

1U taj čas dođu k Isusu učenici te ga zapitaju: 'Tko je najveći u nebeskom kraljevstvu?'

Isus pozove malo dijete pa ga postavi među njih

i reče: 'Zaista vam kažem, ako se ne obratite i ne postanete poput male djece, nećete ući u nebesko kraljevstvo.

U nebeskome je kraljevstvu, dakle, najveći onaj tko se ponizi kao ovo malo dijete.

Tko zaradi mene[a] primi ovakvo dijete, mene prima.

Ali tko jednoga od ovih malenih koji vjeruju u mene navede da posrne u vjeri, bilo bi mu bolje da mu o vrat objese mlinski kamen i da potone u morsku dubinu.

Teško svijetu jer navodi ljude na grijeh! Napast na zlo je neizbježna, ali teško čovjeku kroz kojega dolazi napast.

Navodi li te na grijeh vlastita ruka ili noga, odsijeci ju i baci. Bolje da u nebo[b] uđeš kljast ili hrom nego da s objema rukama i s objema nogama budeš bačen u vječni oganj.

Navodi li te na grijeh vlastito oko, iskopaj ga i baci. Bolje da jednook uđeš u nebo nego da s oba oka budeš bačen u ognjeni pakao.

10 Pazite da ne prezrete nijednoga od ovih malenih. Jer kažem vam da njihovi anđeli na nebu neprestano gledaju lice mojega Oca, koji je na nebesima. (

11 A ja, Sin Čovječji, došao sam spasiti izgubljene.)'[c]

Prispodoba o izgubljenoj ovci

12 'Što mislite, da netko ima sto ovaca i da jedna od njih zaluta, neće li ostaviti onih devedeset devet u gorama i poći potražiti zalutalu?

13 Zaista vam kažem, ako ju uspije naći, više će se radovati što je pronašao tu jednu ovcu nego što ih devedeset devet nije zalutalo.

14 Tako ni vaš nebeski Otac ne želi da se izgubi i propadne ijedan od ovih malenih.'

Opomena drugim vjernicima

15 'Ako ti brat zgriješi, ukori ga nasamo. Posluša li te, zadobio si brata.

16 Ako te ne posluša, povedi sa sobom još jednoga ili dvojicu braće da se svaka tvrdnja temelji na iskazu dvojice ili trojice svjedoka.[d]

17 Ne posluša li ni njih, reci Crkvi. Ako ne posluša ni Crkvu, smatraj ga poganinom i pokvarenim.[e]

18 Zaista vam kažem, što god svežete na zemlji, bit će svezano na nebu i što god odriješite na zemlji, bit će odriješeno na nebu.

19 Također vam kažem: ako dvojica od vas na zemlji jednodušno zamole bilo što, moj će im nebeski Otac to dati.

20 Jer gdje se dvojica ili trojica sastanu zaradi mene,[f] tu sam i ja s njima.'

Priča o okrutnom dužniku

21 Tada mu priđe Petar i upita: 'Gospodine, koliko puta da oprostim bratu koji je zgriješio protiv mene? Sedam puta?'

22 'Ne sedam puta,' odgovori mu Isus, 'već sedamdeset puta sedam![g]

23 Nebesko je kraljevstvo kao kad kralj odluči izravnati račune sa slugama.

24 Kad su počeli obračunavati, dovedu mu jednoga koji mu je dugovao tristo tona zlata[h].

25 Kako nije mogao vratiti, kralj zapovjedi da se prodaju on, žena, djeca i sve što imaju te da se tako podmiri dug.

26 Sluga nato padne ničice pred njim i zamoli: "Imaj strpljenja sa mnom i sve ću ti vratiti!'

27 Kralj se sažali nad njim, oslobodi ga i oprosti mu dug.

28 Ali kad taj sluga iziđe, susretne prijatelja koji je njemu dugovao malo novca.[i] Ščepa ga za vrat i počne ga daviti govoreći: "Vrati što si dužan!'

29 Prijatelj klekne pred njega i zamoli: "Imaj sa mnom strpljenja i vratit ću ti!'

30 Ali njegov vjerovnik nije htio pričekati, nego ode i baci ga u tamnicu dok ne vrati dug.

31 Kad su njegovi prijatelji vidjeli što se dogodilo, silno se ražaloste te odu sve ispričati kralju.

32 Nato ga kralj pozove i reče mu: "Zli slugo! Ja sam tebi oprostio sav dug jer si me zamolio!

33 Nisi li se i ti trebao smilovati svojemu prijatelju kao što sam se ja tebi smilovao?

34 I gnjevni ga kralj preda mučiteljima dok ne vrati sav dug.

35 Tako će i moj nebeski Otac postupiti s vama ne oprostite li svojemu bratu od sveg srca.'

Footnotes

  1. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:5 U grčkome: u moje ime.
  2. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:8 i 9 U grčkome: u život.
  3. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:11 Neki rukopisi ne sadrže taj stih.
  4. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:16 Vidjeti: Ponovljeni zakon 19:15.
  5. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:17 U grčkome: ubiračem poreza. Oni su u to doba bili omraženi jer su surađivali s okupatorskim rimskim vlastima i iznuđivali novac od stanovništva.
  6. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:20 U grčkome: u moje ime.
  7. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:22 Ili: sedamdeset sedam puta.
  8. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:24 U grčkome: deset tisuća talenata. Talenat iznosi otprilike 34 kilograma.
  9. Evanđelje po Mateju 18:28 U grčkome: sto denara.