18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you,unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.
Jesus Warns of Offenses
6 “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.7 Woe to the world because of[a]offenses! Foroffenses must come, butwoe to that man by whom the offense comes!
8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into[b]hell fire.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaventheir angels alwayssee the face of My Father who is in heaven.11 For[c]the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.
12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.14 Even so it is not thewill of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
Dealing with a Sinning Brother
15 “Moreoverif your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you,you have gained your brother.16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like aheathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you,whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again[d]I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask,it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.20 For where two or three are gatheredtogether in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
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