Matthew 18; Matthew 19; Matthew 20

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus. They asked him, "Who is the most important person in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 Jesus called a little child over to him. He had the child stand among them. 3 Jesus said, "What I'm about to tell you is true. You need to change and become like little children. If you don't, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Anyone who becomes as free of pride as this child is the most important in the kingdom of heaven. 5 "Anyone who welcomes a little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6 "But what if someone leads one of these little ones who believe in me to sin? If he does, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and be drowned at the bottom of the sea. 7 "How terrible it will be for the world because of the things that lead people to sin! Things like that must come. But how terrible for those who cause them! 8 "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of heaven with only one hand or one foot than to go into hell with two hands and two feet. In hell the fire burns forever. 9 If your eye causes you to sin, poke it out and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the kingdom of heaven with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell. 10 "See that you don't look down on one of these little ones. Here is what I tell you. Their angels in heaven can go at any time to see my Father who is in heaven. 12 "What do you think? Suppose a man owns 100 sheep and one of them wanders away. Won't he leave the 99 sheep on the hills? Won't he go and look for the one that wandered off? 13 What I'm about to tell you is true. If he finds that sheep, he is happier about the one than about the 99 that didn't wander off. 14 It is the same with your Father in heaven. He does not want any of these little ones to be lost. 15 "If your brother sins against you, go to him. Tell him what he did wrong. Keep it between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won him back. 16 "But what if he won't listen to you? Then take one or two others with you. Scripture says, 'Every matter must be proved by the words of two or three witnesses.'(Deuteronomy 19:15) 17 But what if he also refuses to listen to the witnesses? Then tell it to the church. And what if he refuses to listen even to the church? Then don't treat him as your brother. Treat him as you would treat an ungodly person or a tax collector. 18 "What I'm about to tell you is true. What you lock on earth will be locked in heaven. What you unlock on earth will be unlocked in heaven. 19 "Again, here is what I tell you. Suppose two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for. My Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 Where two or three people meet together in my name, I am there with them." 21 Peter came to Jesus. He asked, "Lord, how many times should I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?" 22 Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but 77 times. 23 "The kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to collect all the money his servants owed him. 24 As the king began to do it, a man who owed him millions of dollars was brought to him. 25 The man was not able to pay. So his master gave an order. The man, his wife, his children, and all he owned had to be sold to pay back what he owed. 26 "The servant fell on his knees in front of him. 'Give me time,' he begged. 'I'll pay everything back.' 27 "His master felt sorry for him. He forgave him what he owed and let him go. 28 "But then that servant went out and found one of the other servants who owed him a few dollars. He grabbed him and began to choke him. 'Pay back what you owe me!' he said. 29 "The other servant fell on his knees. 'Give me time,' he begged him. 'I'll pay you back.' 30 "But the first servant refused. Instead, he went and had the man thrown into prison. The man would be held there until he could pay back what he owed. 31 The other servants saw what had happened. It troubled them greatly. They went and told their master everything that had happened. 32 "Then the master called the first servant in. 'You evil servant,' he said. 'I forgave all that you owed me because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn't you have had mercy on the other servant just as I had mercy on you?' 34 In anger his master turned him over to the jailers. He would be punished until he paid back everything he owed. 35 "This is how my Father in heaven will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart."
1 When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee. He went into the area of Judea on the other side of the Jordan River. 2 Large crowds followed him. He healed them there. 3 Some Pharisees came to put him to the test. They asked, "Does the Law allow a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?" 4 Jesus replied, "Haven't you read that in the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female'?(Genesis 1:27) 5 He said, 'That's why a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife. The two will become one.'(Genesis 2:24) 6 They are no longer two, but one. So a man must not separate what God has joined together." 7 They asked, "Then why did Moses command that a man can give his wife a letter of divorce and send her away?" 8 Jesus replied, "Moses let you divorce your wives because you were stubborn. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 Here is what I tell you. Anyone who divorces his wife and gets married to another woman commits adultery. A man may divorce his wife only if she has not been faithful to him." 10 The disciples said to him, "If that's the way it is between a husband and wife, it is better not to get married." 11 Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept the idea of staying single. Only those who have been helped to live without getting married can accept it. 12 Some men are not able to have children because they were born that way. Some have been made that way by other people. Others have made themselves that way in order to serve the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept living that way should do it." 13 Some people brought little children to Jesus. They wanted him to place his hands on the children and pray for them. But the disciples told the people to stop. 14 Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me. Don't keep them away. The kingdom of heaven belongs to people like them." 15 Jesus placed his hands on them. Then he went on from there. 16 A man came up to Jesus. He asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to receive eternal life?" 17 "Why do you ask me about what is good?" Jesus replied. "There is only One who is good. If you want to enter the kingdom, obey the commandments." 18 "Which ones?" the man asked. Jesus said, " 'Do not commit murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not give false witness. 19 Honor your father and mother.'(Exodus 20:12-16; Deuteronomy 5:16-20) And 'love your neighbor as you love yourself.' "(Leviticus 19:18) 20 "I have obeyed all those commandments," the young man said. "What else do I need to do?" 21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go and sell everything you have. Give the money to those who are poor. You will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me." 22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad. He was very rich. 23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, "What I'm about to tell you is true. It is hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is hard for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. But it is even harder for the rich to enter God's kingdom." 25 When the disciples heard this, they were really amazed. They asked, "Then who can be saved?" 26 Jesus looked at them and said, "With man, that is impossible. But with God, all things are possible." 27 Peter answered him, "We have left everything to follow you! What reward will be given to us?" 28 "What I'm about to tell you is true," Jesus said to them. "When all things are made new, the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne. Then you who have followed me will also sit on 12 thrones. You will judge the 12 tribes of Israel. 29 Everyone who has left houses or families or fields because of me will receive 100 times as much. They will also receive eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last. And many who are last will be first.
1 "The kingdom of heaven is like a man who owned land. He went out early in the morning to hire people to work in his vineyard. 2 He agreed to give them the usual pay for a day's work. Then he sent them into his vineyard. 3 "About nine o'clock in the morning he went out again. He saw others standing in the market place doing nothing. 4 He told them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard. I'll pay you what is right.' 5 So they went. "He went out again about noon and at three o'clock and did the same thing. 6 About five o'clock he went out and found still others standing around. He asked them, 'Why have you been standing here all day long doing nothing?' 7 " 'Because no one has hired us,' they answered. "He said to them, 'You also go and work in my vineyard.' 8 "When evening came, the owner of the vineyard spoke to the person who was in charge of the workers. He said, 'Call the workers and give them their pay. Begin with the last ones I hired. Then go on to the first ones.' 9 "The workers who were hired about five o'clock came. Each received the usual day's pay. 10 So when those who were hired first came, they expected to receive more. But each of them also received the usual day's pay. 11 "When they received it, they began to complain about the owner. 12 'These people who were hired last worked only one hour,' they said. 'You have paid them the same as us. We have done most of the work and have been in the hot sun all day.' 13 "The owner answered one of them. 'Friend,' he said, 'I'm being fair to you. Didn't you agree to work for the usual day's pay? 14 Take your money and go. I want to give the ones I hired last the same pay I gave you. 15 Don't I have the right to do what I want with my own money? Do you feel cheated because I gave so freely to the others?' 16 "So those who are last will be first. And those who are first will be last." 17 Jesus was going up to Jerusalem. On the way, he took the 12 disciples to one side to talk to them. 18 "We are going up to Jerusalem," he said. "The Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the law. They will sentence him to death. 19 Then they will turn him over to people who are not Jews. The people will make fun of him and whip him. They will nail him to a cross. On the third day, he will rise from the dead!" 20 The mother of Zebedee's sons came to Jesus. Her sons came with her. Getting on her knees, she asked a favor of him. 21 "What do you want?" Jesus asked. She said, "Promise me that one of my two sons may sit at your right hand in your kingdom. Promise that the other one may sit at your left hand." 22 "You don't know what you're asking for," Jesus said to them. "Can you drink the cup of suffering I am going to drink?" "We can," they answered. 23 Jesus said to them, "You will certainly drink from my cup. But it is not for me to say who will sit at my right or left hand. These places belong to those my Father has prepared them for." 24 The other ten disciples heard about this. They became angry at the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them together. He said, "You know about the rulers of the nations. They hold power over their people. Their high officials order them around. 26 Don't be like that. Instead, anyone who wants to be important among you must be your servant. 27 And anyone who wants to be first must be your slave. 28 "Be like the Son of Man. He did not come to be served. Instead, he came to serve others. He came to give his life as the price for setting many people free." 29 Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho. A large crowd followed him. 30 Two blind men were sitting by the side of the road. They heard that Jesus was going by. So they shouted, "Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!" 31 The crowd commanded them to stop. They told them to be quiet. But the two men shouted even louder, "Lord! Son of David! Have mercy on us!" 32 Jesus stopped and called out to them. "What do you want me to do for you?" he asked. 33 "Lord," they answered, "we want to be able to see." 34 Jesus felt deep concern for them. He touched their eyes. Right away they could see. And they followed him.
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