Matthew 18 Modern English Version (MEV)
The Greatest in the Kingdom
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Jesus called a little child to Him and set him in their midst, 3 and said, “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself like this little child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such little child in My name receives Me.
Temptations to Sin
6 “But whoever misleads one of these little ones who believe in Me, it would be better for him to have a millstone hung about his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of temptations! For it must be that temptations come, but woe to that man by whom the temptation comes! 8 Therefore if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life lame or maimed than having two hands or two feet to be thrown into eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than having two eyes to be thrown into the fire of hell.
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For 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 on the hills and go in search for the one which went astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine which never went astray. 14 So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
The Brother Who Sins
15 “Now if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, then take with you one or two others, that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every word may be established.[a] 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18 “Truly 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 I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three are assembled in My name, there I am in their midst.”
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came to Him and said, “Lord, how often shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?”
22 Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
23 “Therefore the kingdom of heaven is like a certain king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he began to settle the accounts, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.[b] 25 But since he was not able to pay, his master ordered that he be sold with his wife, their children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26 “So the servant fell on his knees, pleading with him, saying, ‘Master, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ 27 Then the master of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
28 “But that same servant went out and found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii.[c] He laid hands on him and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe.’
29 “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and entreated him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’
30 “But he would not and went and threw him in prison until he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow servants saw what took place, they were very sorry and went and told their master all that had taken place.
32 “Then his master, after he had summoned him, said to him, ‘O you wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, even as I had pity on you?’ 34 His master was angry and delivered him to the jailers until he should pay all his debt.
35 “So also My heavenly Father will do to each of you, if from your heart you do not forgive your brother for his trespasses.”