Matthew 18; Matthew 19; Matthew 20

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3 Then he said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever becomes like this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes a child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 "These little ones believe in me. It would be best for the person who causes one of them to lose faith to be drowned in the sea with a large stone hung around his neck. 7 How horrible it will be for the world because it causes people to lose their faith. Situations that cause people to lose their faith will arise. How horrible it will be for the person who causes someone to lose his faith! 8 "If your hand or your foot causes you to lose your faith, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life disabled or injured than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire. 9 If your eye causes you to lose your faith, 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 "Be careful not to despise these little ones. I can guarantee that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father, who is in heaven. 11 12 "What do you think? Suppose a man has 100 sheep and one of them strays. Won't he leave the 99 sheep in the hills to look for the one that has strayed? 13 I can guarantee this truth: If he finds it, he is happier about it than about the 99 that have not strayed. 14 In the same way, your Father in heaven does not want one of these little ones to be lost. 15 "If a believer does something wrong, go, confront him when the two of you are alone. If he listens to you, you have won back that believer. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others with you so that every accusation may be verified by two or three witnesses. 17 If he ignores these witnesses, tell it to the community of believers. If he also ignores the community, deal with him as you would a heathen or a tax collector. 18 I can guarantee this truth: Whatever you imprison, God will imprison. And whatever you set free, God will set free. 19 "I can guarantee again that if two of you agree on anything here on earth, my Father in heaven will accept it. 20 Where two or three have come together in my name, I am there among them." 21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked him, "Lord, how often do I have to forgive a believer who wrongs me? Seven times?" 22 Jesus answered him, "I tell you, not just seven times, but seventy times seven. 23 "That is why the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to do this, a servant who owed him millions of dollars was brought to him. 25 Because he could not pay off the debt, the master ordered him, his wife, his children, and all that he had to be sold to pay off the account. 26 Then the servant fell at his master's feet and said, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay everything!' 27 "The master felt sorry for his servant, freed him, and canceled his debt. 28 But when that servant went away, he found a servant who owed him hundreds of dollars. He grabbed the servant he found and began to choke him. 'Pay what you owe!' he said. 29 "Then that other servant fell at his feet and begged him, 'Be patient with me, and I will repay you.' 30 But he refused. Instead, he turned away and had that servant put into prison until he would repay what he owed. 31 "The other servants who worked with him saw what had happened and felt very sad. They told their master the whole story. 32 "Then his master sent for him and said to him, 'You evil servant! I canceled your entire debt, because you begged me. 33 Shouldn't you have treated the other servant as mercifully as I treated you?' 34 "His master was so angry that he handed him over to the torturers until he would repay everything that he owed. 35 That is what my Father in heaven will do to you if each of you does not sincerely forgive other believers."
1 When Jesus finished speaking, he left Galilee and traveled along the other side of the Jordan River to the territory of Judea. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees came to test him. They asked, "Can a man divorce his wife for any reason?" 4 Jesus answered, "Haven't you read that the Creator made them male and female in the beginning 5 and that he said, 'That's why a man will leave his father and mother and will remain united with his wife, and the two will be one'? 6 So they are no longer two but one. Therefore, don't let anyone separate what God has joined together." 7 The Pharisees asked him, "Why, then, did Moses order a man to give his wife a written notice to divorce her?" 8 Jesus answered them, "Moses allowed you to divorce your wives because you're heartless. It was never this way in the beginning. 9 I can guarantee that whoever divorces his wife for any reason other than her unfaithfulness is committing adultery if he marries another woman." 10 The disciples said to him, "If that is the only reason a man can use to divorce his wife, it's better not to get married." 11 He answered them, "Not everyone can do what you suggest. Only those who have that gift can. 12 For example, some men are celibate because they were born that way. Others are celibate because they were castrated. Still others have decided to be celibate because of the kingdom of heaven. If anyone can do what you've suggested, then he should do it." 13 Then some people brought little children to Jesus to have him bless them and pray for them. But the disciples told the people not to do that. 14 Jesus said, "Don't stop children from coming to me! Children like these are part of the kingdom of God." 15 After Jesus blessed them, he went away from there. 16 Then a man came to Jesus and said, "Teacher, what good deed should I do to gain eternal life?" 17 Jesus said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want to enter into life, obey the commandments." 18 "Which commandments?" the man asked. Jesus said, "Never murder. Never commit adultery. Never steal. Never give false testimony. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as you love yourself." 20 The young man replied, "I have obeyed all these commandments. What else do I need to do?" 21 Jesus said to him, "If you want to be perfect, sell what you own. Give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then follow me!" 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad because he owned a lot of property. 23 Jesus said to his disciples, "I can guarantee this truth: It will be hard for a rich person to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 I can guarantee again that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God." 25 He amazed his disciples more than ever when they heard this. "Then who can be saved?" they asked. 26 Jesus looked at them and said, "It is impossible for people [to save themselves], but everything is possible for God." 27 Then Peter replied to him, "Look, we've given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?" 28 Jesus said to them, "I can guarantee this truth: When the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the world to come, you, my followers, will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who gave up homes, brothers or sisters, father, mother, children, or fields because of my name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. 30 However, many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.
1 "The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at daybreak to hire workers for his vineyard. 2 After agreeing to pay the workers the usual day's wages, he sent them to work in his vineyard. 3 About 9 a.m. he saw others standing in the marketplace without work. 4 He said to them, 'Work in my vineyard, and I'll give you whatever is right.' So they went. 5 "He went out again about noon and 3 p.m. and did the same thing. 6 About 5 p.m. he went out and found some others standing around. He said to them, 'Why are you standing here all day long without work?' 7 "'No one has hired us,' they answered him. "He said to them, 'Work in my vineyard.' 8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard told the supervisor, 'Call the workers, and give them their wages. Start with the last, and end with the first.' 9 "Those who started working about 5 p.m. came, and each received a day's wages. 10 When those who had been hired first came, they expected to receive more. But each of them received a day's wages. 11 Although they took it, they began to protest to the owner. 12 They said, 'These last workers have worked only one hour. Yet, you've treated us all the same, even though we worked hard all day under a blazing sun.' 13 "The owner said to one of them, 'Friend, I'm not treating you unfairly. Didn't you agree with me on a day's wages? 14 Take your money and go! I want to give this last worker as much as I gave you. 15 Can't I do what I want with my own money? Or do you resent my generosity towards others?' 16 "In this way the last will be first, and the first will be last." 17 When Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, he took the twelve apostles aside and said to them privately, 18 "We're going to Jerusalem. There the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and scribes. They will condemn him to death 19 and hand him over to foreigners. They will make fun of him, whip him, and crucify him. But on the third day he will be brought back to life." 20 Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus with her two sons. She bowed down in front of him to ask him for a favor. 21 "What do you want?" he asked her. She said to him, "Promise that one of my sons will sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom." 22 Jesus replied, "You don't realize what you're asking. Can you drink the cup that I'm going to drink?" "We can," they told him. 23 Jesus said to them, "You will drink my cup. But I don't have the authority to grant you a seat at my right or left. My Father has already prepared these positions for certain people." 24 When the other ten apostles heard about this, they were irritated with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called the apostles and said, "You know that the rulers of nations have absolute power over people and their officials have absolute authority over people. 26 But that's not the way it's going to be among you. Whoever wants to become great among you will be your servant. 27 Whoever wants to be most important among you will be your slave. 28 It's the same way with the Son of Man. He didn't come so that others could serve him. He came to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many people." 29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Jesus. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the road. When they heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" 31 The crowd told them to be quiet. But they shouted even louder, "Lord, Son of David, have mercy on us!" 32 Jesus stopped and called them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. 33 They told him, "Lord, we want you to give us our eyesight back." 34 Jesus felt sorry for them, so he touched their eyes. Their sight was restored at once, and they followed him.
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