18At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2He called a child, whom he put among them, 3and said, Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
6 If any of you put a stumbling-block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7Woe to the world because of stumbling-blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling-block comes!
8 If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than to have two hands or two feet and to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and to be thrown into the hell* of fire.
10 Take care that you do not despise one of these little ones; for, I tell you, in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven.* 12What do you think? If a shepherd has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray? 13And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. 14So it is not the will of your* Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost.
15 If another member of the church* sins against you,* go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one.*
16But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax-collector.
18Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.
20For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.
21 Then Peter came and said to him, Lord, if another member of the church* sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times? 22Jesus said to him, Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven* times.
23 For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves.
24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents* was brought to him;
25and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made.
26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.
27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt.
28But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii;* and seizing him by the throat, he said, Pay what you owe.
29Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, Have patience with me, and I will pay you.
30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt.
31When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me.
33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?
34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt.
35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister* from your heart.
New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org
10 February 2011