Mateus 18

1 In that hour the disciples came to Jesus. They asked: »Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?«

2 He took a little child and put him in the middle of them.

3 He said: »Truly I tell you, if you do not have a change of heart and become like little children, you will not go into the kingdom of heaven.

4 »He who humbles himself to become like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 »Everyone who accepts this little child in my name accepts me.

6 »He who causes one of my faithful little ones to stumble is in trouble. It would be better for him to end up in the deep sea with a great stone tied to his neck.

7 »A curse is on the earth because of stumbling! It is necessary for stumbling to come. Unhappy is that man through whom the stumbling comes.

8 »If your hand or your foot is a cause of stumbling cut it off. Get rid of it. It is better for you to go into life with the loss of a hand or a foot than, having two hands or two feet, to be destroyed by eternal fire.

9 »If your eye causes you stumbling, take it out and throw it away. It is better for you to go into life with one eye than, having two eyes, to be destroyed in ever-burning fires in the Valley of Hinnom Greek: Gehenna.

10 »Do not treat these little ones badly. I tell you that angels represent them in the presence of my Father in heaven.

11 omitted, text not found in early manuscripts

12 »What do you think? A man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone wandering away. Will he leave the ninety-nine and go in search of the wandering one?

13 »When he finds it, I tell you he will be filled with more joy than he would have if he had stayed with the ninety-nine.

14 »Even so, your Father in heaven does not want any of these little ones to be lost.

15 »If your brother does wrong to you, go to him in private. Clearly explain his error between you and him. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother back.

16 »If he does not listen to you, take one or two more people with you. Two or three witnesses may prove every case.

17 »If he will not listen to them, let it come to the attention of the congregation. If he will not listen to the congregation, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector.

18 »I tell you; whatever things are fixed by you on earth will be declared improper and unlawful in heaven. Whatever you make free on earth will be declared lawful in heaven.

19 »Again, I say to you, that if two of you are in agreement on earth about anything for which they will make a request, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

20 »Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.«

21 Peter came to him and said: »Lord, How many times may my brother do wrong against me, and I forgive him? Seven times?«

22 Jesus said to him: »Not seven times; but seventy times seven.

23 »The kingdom of heaven is like a king who went over his accounts with his servants.

24 »First, one came to him who owed him ten thousand talents.

25 »He was not able to make payment. So his lord gave orders for him to be sold. His wife, sons, and daughters were all to be sold along with every possession. The money would be used for payment of what he owed.

26 »So the servant fell on his face out of respect. He said: ‘Lord, give me time to make payment and I will pay everything.’

27 »Being moved with pity, the lord let him go, and made him free of the debt.

28 »Then that servant met another servant who was in debt to him for one hundred denarii. He took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay your debt now.’

29 »That servant fell down before him, saying, ‘Give me time and I will make payment to you.’

30 »He would not give him time. He put him into prison till he paid the debt.

31 »When the other servants saw what happened, they were very sad. They told their lord what had been done.

32 »His lord sent for him, and said: ‘Evil servant; I made you free of all that debt, because of your request to me.

33 »‘Should you also show mercy to your fellow servant the same way I showed mercy to you?’

34 »His lord was angry and sent him to jail to be punished until he paid back all of his debt.

35 »My heavenly Father will treat you like that if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.«