1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Calling a little child forward, he had him stand among them.
3 Then he said,“Truly I tell you, unless you changeand become like little children, you will never get into the kingdom of heaven.
4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven,
5 and whoever receives a little child like this in my name receives me.”
6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a large millstone were hung around his neck and he were drowned at the bottom of the sea.
7 How terrible it will be for the world because it causes people to sin! Temptations to sin are bound to happen, but how terrible it will be for that person who causes someone to sin!
8 “So if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life injured or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.
9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear 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 hellfire.
10 “See to it that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you, their angels in heaven always see the face ofmy Father in heaven.
11 For the Son of Man came to save the lost.”
12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, he leaves the ninety-nine in the hills and goes to look for the one that has strayed, doesn't he?
13 If he finds it, truly I tell you that he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that haven't strayed.
14 In the same way, it is not the will of yourFather in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.”
15 “If your brother sins against you,go and confront him while the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother.
16 But if he doesn't listen, take one or two others with you so that ‘every word may be confirmed by the testimonyof two or three witnesses.’
17 If, however, he ignores them, tell it to the congregation.If he also ignores the congregation, regard him as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you prohibit on earth will have been prohibitedin heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will have been permittedin heaven.
19 Furthermore, truly I tell you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you request, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
20 For where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them.”
21 Then Peter came up and asked him, “Lord, how many times may my brother sin against me and I have to forgive him? Seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him,“I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!
23 “That is why the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.
24 When he had begun to settle the accounts, a person who owed him ten thousand talentswas brought to him.
25 Because he couldn't pay, his master ordered him, his wife, his children, and all that he had to be sold so that payment could be made.
26 Then the servant fell down and bowed low before him, saying, ‘Be patientwith me, and I will repay you everything!’
27 The master of that servant had compassion and released him, canceling his debt.
28 “But when that servant went away, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.He grabbed him, seized him by the throat, and said, ‘Pay what you owe!’
29 Then his fellow servant fell down and began begging him, ‘Be patient with me and I will repay you!’
30 But he refused and went and had him thrown into prison until he could repay the debt.
31 “When his fellow servants saw what had happened, they were very disturbed and went and reported to their master all that had occurred.
32 Then his master sent for him and said to him, ‘You evil servant! I canceled that entire debt for you because you begged me.
33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’
34 In anger his master handed him over to the torturersuntil he could repay the entire debt.
35 This is how my heavenly Father will treat each one of you unless you forgive your brother from your hearts.”