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Passage: Matthew 18:1-35

Matthew 18:1-35 – Discourse on the Forgiving Community


Greatness in the kingdom depends on having childlike humility. God calls the members of the community to exercise forgiveness that not one of God's children be lost.


In the fourth major discourse in Matthew, Jesus addresses his disciples on the exercise of forgiving love in the kingdom. For the second time (16:18; 18:17; only here in the Gospels) Matthew's use of the word ekklesia ("church") calls attention to his thematic focus on what it means for disciples to live in this new community of the kingdom. Once again Matthew's formulaic ending marks the conclusion of the discourse (19:1; see 7:28; 11:1; 13:53; 26:1).