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The New International Version

Matthew 17:24–18:14

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The Temple Tax

24 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple taxp came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

25 “Yes, he does,” he replied.

When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxesq—from their own children or from others?”

26 “From others,” Peter answered.

“Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27 “But so that we may not cause offense,r go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

18:1–5pp—Mk 9:33–37; Lk 9:46–48

18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children,s you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.t Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.u And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.v

Causing to Stumble

“If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.w Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!x If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble,y cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to stumble,z gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.a

The Parable of the Wandering Sheep

18:12–14pp—Lk 15:4–7

10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angelsb in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven. [11]a

12 “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off? 13 And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.

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