Matthew 18-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Rank in the Kingdom
18 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 set him before them, 3 and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever [a]humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives and welcomes one [b]child like this in My name receives Me; 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin [by leading him away from My teaching], it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 “Woe (judgment is coming) to the world because of stumbling blocks and temptations to sin! It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to the person on whose account or through whom the stumbling block comes!
8 “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off and throw it away from you [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire. 9 If your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away from you [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; it is better for you to enter life with only one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fiery hell.
10 “See that you do not despise or think less of one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven [are in the presence of and] continually look upon the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 [c][For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]
Ninety-nine Plus One
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 mountain and go in search of the one that is lost? 13 And if it turns out that he finds it, I assure you and most solemnly say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that did not get lost. 14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones be lost.
Discipline and Prayer
15 “If your brother sins[d], go and show him his fault in private; if he listens and pays attention to you, you have won back your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take along with you one or two others, so that every word may be confirmed by the testimony of two or three witnesses. 17 If he pays no attention to them [refusing to listen and obey], tell it to the [e]church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile (unbeliever) and a tax collector. 18 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, whatever you bind [forbid, declare to be improper and unlawful] on earth [f]shall have [already] been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose [permit, declare lawful] on earth [g]shall have [already] been loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you, that if two [h]believers on earth agree [that is, are of one mind, in harmony] about anything that they ask [within the will of God], it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered in My name [meeting together as My followers], I am there among them.”
21 Then Peter came to Him and asked, “Lord, how many times will my brother sin against me and I forgive him and let it go? Up to seven times?” 22 Jesus answered him, “I say to you, not up to seven times, but seventy times seven.
23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the accounting, one who owed him 10,000 [i]talents was brought to him. 25 But because he could not repay, his master ordered him to be sold, with his wife and his children and everything that he possessed, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ 27 And his master’s heart was moved with compassion and he released him and forgave him [canceling] the debt. 28 But that same slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him [j]a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began choking him, saying, ‘Pay what you owe!’ 29 So his fellow slave fell on his knees and begged him earnestly, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ 30 But he was unwilling and he went and had him thrown in prison until he paid back the debt. 31 When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and they went and reported to their master [with clarity and in detail] everything that had taken place. 32 Then his master called him and said to him, ‘You wicked and contemptible slave, I forgave all that [great] debt of yours because you begged me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave [who owed you little by comparison], as I had mercy on you?’ 34 And in wrath his master turned him over to the torturers (jailers) until he paid all that he owed. 35 My heavenly Father will also do the same to [every one of] you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”
19 Now when Jesus had finished saying these things, He left Galilee and went into the part of Judea that is beyond the Jordan; 2 and large crowds followed Him, and He healed them there.
3 And Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” 4 He replied, “Have you never read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined inseparably to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 7 The Pharisees said to Him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a certificate of divorce and send her away?” 8 He said to them, “Because your hearts were hard and stubborn Moses permitted you to divorce your wives; but from the beginning it has not been this way. 9 I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery[k].”
10 The disciples said to Jesus, “If the relationship of a man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” 11 But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom [the capacity to receive] it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who have been born that way from their mother’s womb [making them incapable of consummating a marriage]; and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men [for royal service]; and there are eunuchs who have [l]made themselves so for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to accept this, let him accept it.”
Jesus Blesses Little Children
13 Then children were brought to Jesus so that He might place His hands on them [for a blessing] and pray; but the disciples reprimanded them. 14 But He said, “Leave the children alone, and do not forbid them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” 15 After placing His hands on them [for a blessing], He went on from there.
The Rich Young Ruler
16 And someone came to Him and said, “Teacher, what [essentially] good thing shall I do to obtain eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?” 17 Jesus answered, “Why are you asking Me about what is [essentially] good? There is only One who is [essentially] good; but if you wish to enter into eternal life, keep the commandments.” 18 He said to Jesus, “Which commandments?” And Jesus answered, “You shall not commit murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not steal; You shall not give false testimony; 19 Honor your father and mother; and love your neighbor as yourself” [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others]. 20 The young man said to Him, “I have kept all these things [from my youth]; what do I still lack?” 21 Jesus answered him, “If you wish to be perfect [that is, have the spiritual maturity that accompanies godly character with no moral or ethical deficiencies], go and sell what you have and give [the money] to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me [becoming My disciple, believing and trusting in Me and walking the same path of life that I walk].” 22 But when the young man heard this, he left grieving and distressed, for he owned much property and had many possessions [which he treasured more than his relationship with God].
23 Jesus said to His disciples, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, it is difficult for a rich man [who clings to possessions and status as security] to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man [who places his faith in wealth and status] to enter the kingdom of God.” 25 When the disciples heard this, they were completely [m]astonished and bewildered, saying, “Then who can be saved [from the wrath of God]?” 26 But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
The Disciples’ Reward
27 Then Peter answered Him, saying, “Look, we have given up everything and followed You [becoming Your disciples and accepting You as Teacher and Lord]; what then will there be for us?” 28 Jesus said to them, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, in the renewal [that is, the Messianic restoration and regeneration of all things] when the Son of Man sits on His glorious throne, you [who have followed Me, becoming My disciples] will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother [n]or children or farms for My name’s sake will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first [in this world] will be last [in the world to come]; and the last, first.
Laborers in the Vineyard
20 “For the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of an estate who went out in the morning at dawn to hire workmen for his vineyard. 2 When he had agreed with the laborers for a [o]denarius for the day, he sent them into his vineyard. 3 And he went out about the third hour (9:00 a.m.) and saw others standing idle in the market place; 4 and he said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I will pay you whatever is right (an appropriate wage).’ And they went. 5 He went out about the sixth hour (noon) and the ninth hour (3:00 p.m.), and did the same thing. 6 And about the eleventh hour (5:00 p.m.) he went out and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why have you been standing here idle all day?’ 7 They answered him, ‘Because no one hired us.’ He told them, ‘You go into the vineyard also.’
8 “When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last [to be hired] and ending with the first [to be hired].’ 9 Those who had been hired at the eleventh hour (5:00 p.m.) came and received a denarius each [a day’s wage]. 10 Now when the first [to be hired] came, they thought they would get more; but each of them also received a denarius. 11 When they received it, they protested and grumbled at the owner of the estate, 12 saying, ‘These men who came last worked [only] one hour, and yet you have made them equal [in wages] to us who have carried [most of] the burden and [worked in] the scorching heat of the day.’ 13 But the owner of the estate replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no injustice. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? 14 Take what belongs to you and go, but I choose to give to this last man [hired] the same as I give to you. 15 Am I not lawfully permitted to do what I choose with what is mine? Or is your eye [p]envious because I am generous?’ 16 So those who are last [in this world] shall be first [in the world to come], and those who are first, last.”
Death, Resurrection Foretold
17 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, He took the twelve [disciples] aside, and along the way He said to them, 18 “Listen carefully: we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes (Sanhedrin, Jewish High Court), and they will [judicially] condemn Him and sentence Him to death, 19 and will hand Him over to the Gentiles (Roman authorities) to be mocked and scourged and crucified, and He will be raised [to life] on the third day.”
Preferred Treatment Asked
20 Then [Salome] the [q]mother of Zebedee’s children [James and John] came up to Jesus with her sons and, kneeling down [in respect], asked a favor of Him. 21 And He said to her, “What do you wish?” She answered Him, “Command that in Your kingdom these two sons of mine may sit [in positions of honor and authority] one on Your right and one on Your left.” 22 But Jesus replied, “You do not realize what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup [of suffering] that I am about to drink?” They answered, “We are able.” 23 He said to them, “You will drink My cup [of suffering]; but to sit on My right and on My left this is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by My Father.”
24 And when the [other] ten heard this, they were resentful and angry with the two brothers. 25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles have absolute power and lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them [tyrannizing them]. 26 It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, 27 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your [willing and humble] slave; 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [paying the price to set them free from the penalty of sin].”
Sight for the Blind
29 As they were leaving Jericho, a large crowd followed Him. 30 And two blind men were sitting by the road, and when they heard that Jesus was passing by, they cried out, “Lord, have mercy on us, Son of David (Messiah)!” 31 The crowd sternly told them to be quiet, but they cried out all the more, “Lord, Son of David (Messiah) have mercy on us!” 32 Jesus stopped and called them, and asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” 33 They answered Him, “Lord, we want our eyes to be opened.” 34 Moved with compassion, Jesus touched their eyes; and immediately they regained their sight and followed Him [as His disciples].
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