New American Standard Bible

Matthew 18

Rank in the Kingdom

1At that [a]time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And He called a child to Himself and set him [b]before them, and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you [c]are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it [d]would be better for him to have a [e]heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Stumbling Blocks

“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!

“If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than [f]to have two hands or two feet and be cast into the eternal fire. If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you. It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than [g]to have two eyes and be cast into the [h]fiery hell.

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 [[i]For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]

Ninety-nine Plus One

12 “What do you think? If any man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 If it turns out that he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray. 14 So it is not the will [j]of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish.

Discipline and Prayer

15 “If your brother sins[k], go and [l]show him his fault [m]in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every [n]fact may be confirmed. 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 [o]a Gentile and [p]a tax collector. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you [q]bind on earth [r]shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you [s]loose on earth [t]shall have been loosed in heaven.

19 “Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them [u]by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.”

Forgiveness

21 Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.

23 “For this reason the kingdom of heaven [v]may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him [w]ten thousand talents was brought to him. 25 But since he [x]did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made. 26 So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the [y]debt. 28 But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred [z]denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ 29 So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling [aa]and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed. 31 So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. 32 Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ 34 And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from [ab]your heart.”

Footnotes

  1. Matthew 18:1 Lit hour
  2. Matthew 18:2 Lit in their midst
  3. Matthew 18:3 Lit are turned
  4. Matthew 18:6 Lit is better
  5. Matthew 18:6 Lit millstone turned by a donkey
  6. Matthew 18:8 Lit having; Gr part.
  7. Matthew 18:9 Lit having; Gr part.
  8. Matthew 18:9 Lit Gehenna of fire
  9. Matthew 18:11 Early mss do not contain this v
  10. Matthew 18:14 Lit before
  11. Matthew 18:15 Late mss add against you
  12. Matthew 18:15 Or reprove
  13. Matthew 18:15 Lit between you and him alone
  14. Matthew 18:16 Lit word
  15. Matthew 18:17 Lit the
  16. Matthew 18:17 Lit the
  17. Matthew 18:18 Or forbid
  18. Matthew 18:18 Gr fut. pft. pass.
  19. Matthew 18:18 Or permit
  20. Matthew 18:18 Gr fut. pft. pass.
  21. Matthew 18:19 Lit from
  22. Matthew 18:23 Lit was compared to
  23. Matthew 18:24 A talent was worth more than fifteen years’ wages of a laborer
  24. Matthew 18:25 Or was unable to
  25. Matthew 18:27 Or loan
  26. Matthew 18:28 The denarius was a day’s wages
  27. Matthew 18:30 Lit but
  28. Matthew 18:35 Lit your hearts

New Living Translation

Matthew 18

The Greatest in the Kingdom

1About that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”

Jesus called a little child to him and put the child among them. Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven. So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.

“And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf[a] is welcoming me. But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

“What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the person who does the tempting. So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.[b]

10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in the presence of my heavenly Father.[c]

Parable of the Lost Sheep

12 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.

Correcting Another Believer

15 “If another believer[d] sins against you,[e] go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid[f] on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit[g] on earth will be permitted in heaven.

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers,[h] I am there among them.”

Parable of the Unforgiving Debtor

21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone[i] who sins against me? Seven times?”

22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven![j]

23 “Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. 24 In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars.[k] 25 He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.

26 “But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ 27 Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.

28 “But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars.[l] He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.

29 “His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. 30 But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.

31 “When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. 32 Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34 Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35 “That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters[m] from your heart.”

Footnotes

  1. 18:5 Greek in my name.
  2. 18:9 Greek the Gehenna of fire.
  3. 18:10 Some manuscripts add verse 11, And the Son of Man came to save those who are lost. Compare Luke 19:10.
  4. 18:15a Greek If your brother.
  5. 18:15b Some manuscripts do not include against you.
  6. 18:18a Or bind, or lock.
  7. 18:18b Or loose, or open.
  8. 18:20 Greek gather together in my name.
  9. 18:21 Greek my brother.
  10. 18:22 Or seventy-seven times.
  11. 18:24 Greek 10,000 talents [375 tons or 340 metric tons of silver].
  12. 18:28 Greek 100 denarii. A denarius was equivalent to a laborer’s full day’s wage.
  13. 18:35 Greek your brother.