Matthew 18:1–20

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 onesthose who believe in meto 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.

Dealing With Sin in the Church

15 If your brother or sisterb sins,c go and point out their fault,c just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so thatevery matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’d d 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church;e and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.f

18 Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will bee bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will bef loosed in heaven.g

19 Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for themh by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”i

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