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The Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 “See that you do not disdain one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.[a] 12 What do you think? If someone[b] owns a hundred[c] sheep and one of them goes astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go look for the one that went astray?[d] 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth,[e] he will rejoice more over it than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 In the same way, your Father in heaven is not willing that one of these little ones be lost.

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  1. Matthew 18:10 tc The most significant mss, along with others (א B L* Θ* ƒ1, 13 33 892* e ff1 sys sa), do not include 18:11 “For the Son of Man came to save the lost.” The verse is included in D Lmg N W Γ Δ Θc 078vid 565 579 700 892c 1241 1424 M lat syc,p,h, but is almost certainly not original, being borrowed from the parallel in Luke 19:10. The present translation follows NA28 in omitting the verse number as well, a procedure also followed by a number of other modern translations.
  2. Matthew 18:12 tn Grk “a certain man.” The Greek word ἄνθρωπος (anthrōpos) is used here in a somewhat generic sense.
  3. Matthew 18:12 sn This individual with a hundred sheep is a shepherd of modest means, as flocks often had up to two hundred head of sheep.
  4. Matthew 18:12 sn Look for the one that went astray. The parable pictures God’s pursuit of the sinner. On the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, see John 10:1-18.
  5. Matthew 18:13 tn Grk “Truly (ἀμήν, amēn), I say to you.”