Matthew 18 Williams - Just at that moment the disciples came up and asked Jesus,



1 Just at that moment the disciples came up and asked Jesus, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
2 And He called a little child to Him, and had him stand in the midst of them, 3 and said: "I solemnly say to you, unless you turn and become like little children, you can never get into the kingdom of heaven at all. 4 So then, whoever becomes as lowly as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven, 5 and whoever welcomes one little child like this for my sake welcomes me.
6 But whoever leads one of these little ones, who believe in me, to do wrong, had better have a great millstone hung around his neck to sink him to the bottom of the sea. 7 A curse on the world for such influences to do wrong! For they must come, but a curse on the man from whom these influences come! 8 "And if your own hand or your own foot makes you do wrong, cut it off and put it out of your way. It is better for you to get into life maimed or crippled than to have both hands or both feet to be thrown into everlasting torture. 9 And if your own eye makes you do wrong, pluck it out and put it out of your way. It is better for you to go into life with a single eye than to have both eyes to be thrown into the pit of torture.
10 "Be careful not to look with scorn on a single one of these little children, for I tell you that in heaven their angels have uninterrupted access to my Father in heaven. 11 Omitted Text. 12 "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillsides, and go and search for the one that is lost? 13 And if he finds it, I solemnly say to you, he rejoices over it more than he does over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 Just so it is not the will of my Father in heaven that a single one of these little ones be lost.
15 "Again, if your brother wrongs you, go and while alone with him show him the wrong. If he listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take along with you one or two others, so as to have every word confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, report it to the church. 17 And if he refuses to listen to the church, treat him as a heathen and as a tax-collector. 18 I solemnly say to you, whatever you forbid on earth must be already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth must be already permitted in heaven. 19 "Again, I tell you, if only two of you on earth agree on what they pray for, they will get it from my Father in heaven. 20 For wherever two or three have met as my disciples, I am right there with them."
21 Then Peter came up to Him and asked, "Lord, how many times may my brother wrong me and I have to forgive him? As many as seven?"
22 Jesus answered him: "I tell you, not as many as seven, but as many as seventy times seven! 23 So the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle up his accounts with his slaves, 24 And when he began, a man was brought to him who owed him ten million dollars. 25 And because he could not pay it, his master ordered him to be sold, yea, even his wife and children and all he had, and payment to be made.
26 So the slave fell down at his feet and pleaded, 'Give me time, and I will pay you every cent of it.' 27 And his master's heart was moved with pity, and he let the slave go free with his debt cancelled.
28 "But that slave went out and found one of his fellow-slaves who owed him twenty dollars, and he caught him by the throat and began to choke him, demanding, 'Pay me what you owe me!'
29 "And his fellow-slave fell down before him and pleaded, 'Give me time, and I will pay you.' 30 But he refused and went out and had him put in jail until he should pay the debt. 31 "When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly troubled, and went and reported all that happened to their master.
32 Then his master called to him, and said, 'I cancelled all that huge debt of yours, because you pleaded with me to do so. 33 Ought you not to have shown mercy to your fellow-slave, as I too had done for you?' 34 And the master was enraged and turned him over to the official torturers, until he should pay the whole debt. 35 This is the way my heavenly Father too will deal with you, if you do not, each one, heartily forgive your brother."