1At this time the disciples came to Jesus and said, 'Who is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven?' 2So he cal ed a little child to him whom he set among them. 3Then he said, 'In truth I tel you, unless you change and become like little children you wil never enterthe kingdom of Heaven. 4And so, the one who makes himself as little as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. 5'Anyone who welcomes one little child like this in my name welcomes me. 6But anyone who is the downfall of one of these little ones who have faith in me would be betterdrowned in the depths of the sea with a great millstone round his neck. 7Alas for the world that there should be such causes of fal ing! Causes of falling indeed there must be,but alas for anyone who provides them! 8'If your hand or your foot should be your downfal , cut it off and throw it away: it is better for you toenter into life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. 9And if your eye should be your downfal , tear it out and throw it away: it is better for you to enter intolife with one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the hel of fire. 10'See that you never despise any of these little ones, for I tel you that theirin heaven are continually inthe presence of my Father in heaven. 1112'Tel me. Suppose a man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays; will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hillside and go in search of the stray? 13In truth I tel you, if he finds it, it gives him more joy than do the ninety-nine that did not stray at al . 14Similarly, it is never the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. 15'If your brother does something wrong, go and have it out with him alone, between your two selves. Ifhe listens to you, you have won back your brother. 16If he does not listen, take one or two others along with you: whatever the misdemeanour, theevidence of two or three witnesses is required to sustain the charge. 17But if he refuses to listen to these, report it to the community; and if he refuses to listen to thecommunity, treat him like a gentile or a tax col ector. 18'In truth I tel you, whatever you bind on earth wil be bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earthwil be loosed in heaven. 19'In truth I tel you once again, if two of you on earth agree to ask anything at al , it wil be granted toyou by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three meet in my name, I am there among them.' 21Then Peter went up to him and said, 'Lord, how often must I forgive my brother if he wrongs me? Asoften as seven times?' 22Jesus answered, 'Not seven, I tel you, but seventy-seven times. 23'And so the kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a king who decided to settle his accounts withhis servants. 24When the reckoning began, they brought him a man who owed ten thousand talents; 25he had no means of paying, so his master gave orders that he should be sold, together with his wifeand children and al his possessions, to meet the debt. 26At this, the servant threw himself down at his master's feet, with the words, "Be patient with me and Iwil pay the whole sum." 27And the servant's master felt so sorry for him that he let him go and cancel ed the debt. 28Now as this servant went out, he happened to meet a fel ow-servant who owed him one hundreddenari ; and he seized him by the throat and began to throttle him, saying, "Pay what you owe me." 29His fel ow-servant fell at his feet and appealed to him, saying, "Be patient with me and I wil pay you." 30But the other would not agree; on the contrary, he had him thrown into prison til he should pay thedebt. 31His fel ow-servants were deeply distressed when they saw what had happened, and they went totheir master and reported the whole affair to him. 32Then the master sent for the man and said to him, "You wicked servant, I cancelled all that debt ofyours when you appealed to me. 33Were you not bound, then, to have pity on your fellow-servant just as I had pity on you?" 34And in his anger the master handed him over to the torturers til he should pay al his debt. 35And that is how my heavenly Father wil deal with you unless you each forgive your brother from yourheart.'
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