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.”

Nkwa Asem

Mateo 18

Hena ne ɔkɛseɛ

1Ɛbɛyɛ saa bere koro no ara mu, Yesu asuafo no baa ne nkyɛn bebisaa no se, wɔn mu hena na ɔbɛyɛ kɛse ɔsoro ahenni no mu.

Yesu frɛɛ abofra ketewa bi de no begyinaa wɔn mfinimfini. Afei, ɔka kyerɛɛ wɔn se, “Merema mo ate ase sɛ gye sɛ motwe mo ho fi mo bɔne ho, na moyɛ sɛ mmofra nketewa, na mode mo ho ma Onyankopɔn ansa na mobetumi akɔ ɔsoro ahenni no mu.” Enti, obiara a ɔbɛbrɛ ne ho ase sɛ abofra yi no, ɔno ne kɛse koraa ɔsoro ahenni no mu. Na mo mu biara a, me nti, obegye abofra ketewa biara te sɛ oyi no, wagye me nso aba ne nkyɛn. Enti sɛ obi to mmofra nketewa a wogye me di yi bi hintidua a, eye ma no sɛ anka wɔde ɔbotan bɛsɛn ne kɔn mu atow no akyene ɛpo mu.

“Wiase nnue wɔ ne hintiduato ho! Hintiduato wɔ hɔ de, nanso nea ɛnam ne so bɛba no nnue. Enti, sɛ wo nsa anaa wo nan ma woyɛ bɔne a, twa na tow kyene. Eye ma wo sɛ wode dɛm bɛkɔ soro sen sɛ wɔde wo nipa mu bɛto ogyatannaa mu. Na sɛ w’ani ma woyɛ bɔne a, tu na tow kyene. Eye ma wo sɛ wode ani koro bɛkɔ ɔsoro sen sɛ wowɔ ani abien na wɔde wo bɛto ogyatannaa mu.

Oguan a wayera no ho bɛ

10 “Monhwɛ yiye, na moammu saa mmofra nketewa yi mu baako koraa animtia. Mereka akyerɛ mo se, ɔsoro hɔ no, wɔn abɔfo wɔ m’agya nkyɛn daa. 11 Na me, Agyenkwa no, mebae sɛ merebegye wɔn a wɔayera no nkwa.

12 “Sɛ onipa bi wɔ nguan ɔha, na wɔn mu baako kokyin na ɔyera a, dɛn na ɔbɛyɛ? Ɔrennyaw aduɔkron akron no hɔ nkokyinkyin mmepɔw so ne abon mu nhwehwɛ nea wayera no? 13 Na sɛ ɛba sɛ ohu saa oguan no a, n’ani gye no ho sen aduɔkron akron a wɔwɔ fie no. 14 Saa ara nso na m’agya a ɔwɔ soro no mpɛ sɛ nketewa yi mu baako bɛyera.

Onua fom wo a, w’asɛde

15 “Sɛ wo nua fom wo a, kɔ ne nkyɛn na wo ne no baanu no nka nea ɔyɛɛ wo a ɛnyɛ wo dɛ no. Sɛ otie nea woka no, na ɔte ne ho ase a, onua ayɛ onua. 16 Na sɛ wantie nso a, san fa onipa baako anaa baanu ka wo ho kɔ ne nkyɛn na wɔadi nea ebesi hɔ no nyinaa ho adanse. 17 Sɛ wantie wo ara a, fa asɛm no kɔma asafo. Na sɛ wudi bem asafo no anim na ɔnte ne ho ase ara a, asafo no mpam no mfi wɔn mu. 18 Mereka akyerɛ mo se, biribiara a mobɛkyekye wɔ asase so no, wɔakyekye wɔ soro; na biribiara a moasan wɔ asase so no, wɔasan wɔ soro.

19 “Meresan aka akyerɛ mo bio se, sɛ mo mu baanu biara a wɔte asase yi so hwehwɛ biribi, na wɔde nokware bisa m’agya a ɔwɔ soro no a, ɔbɛyɛ ama wɔn. 20 Na nea baanu anaa baasa ahyia wɔ me din mu no, na mewɔ wɔn mfinimfini.”

Ɔpaani tirimɔdenfo no

21 Petro baa Yesu nkyɛn bebisaa no se, “Awurade, mpɛn ahe na sɛ me nua fom me a, memfa nkyɛ no? Mpɛn ason anaa?”

22 Yesu buaa no se, “Dabi! Mpɛn aduɔson ahorow ason!

23 “Ɔsoro ahenni no te sɛ ɔhene bi a ɔpɛe sɛ ɔne n’apaafo bu nkontaa. 24 Nkontaabu no mu no, wɔde ɔpaani bi a ɔde no ka sidi ɔpepem du brɛɛ no. 25 Esiane sɛ na onni sika a ɔde betua ka no nti, ɔhene no hyɛe sɛ wɔntɔn ɔne ne yere ne ne mma ne biribiara a ɔwɔ na wɔmfa mmetua ka no.

26 “Ɔpaani no de n’anim butuw fam srɛɛ ne wura yi se, ‘Me wura, hu me mmɔbɔ, na tɔ wo bo ase ma me, na mɛba abetua ka a mede wo no nyinaa.’

27 “Ɔpaani yi asɛm a ɔkae yi yɛɛ ɔhene no mmɔbɔ, ma ogyaa no de ne ka no nyinaa nso kyɛɛ no.

28 “Saa ɔpaani yi fi hɔ no, okohuu ɔpaani foforo bi a ɔde no ka sidi mpenu. Otim no amenewa sɛ ontua no ka a ɔde no no wɔ hɔ ara.

29 “Ɔkafo no kotow, paa no kyɛw se ɔntɔ ne bo ase mma no na obetua no ka.

30 “Nanso, ɔno de, wampene. Ɔma wɔde ɔkafo yi kɔtoo afiase sɛ gye sɛ watua no ka a ɔde no no nyinaa ansa na ɔbɛma wɔagyaa no.

31 “Ɔkafo yi nnamfo kɔkaa asɛm a asi no nyinaa kyerɛɛ ɔhene no. 32 Ɔhene no tee no, ɔfrɛɛ saa ɔpaani a ɔde ne ho kyɛɛ no no baa n’anim. Ɔka kyerɛɛ no se, ‘Onipa bɔne ne otirimɔdenfo! Wosrɛɛ me no, mede ka kɛse a wode me no nyinaa kyɛɛ wo; 33 ɛnsɛ wo sɛ wo nso wuhu wo yɔnko mmɔbɔ sɛnea mihuu wo mmɔbɔ no anaa?’

34 “Ɔhene no de abufuw ma wɔde ɔpaani yi kɔtoo afiase kae se, gye sɛ watua ka a ɔde no no nyinaa ansa na ɔbɛma wɔayi no. 35 Saa ara na sɛ moamfa mo nuanom mfomso ankyɛ wɔn a, me soro Agya nso, remfa mo mfomso nkyɛ mo.”