Who is the greatest? Get rid of temptations. The Lost Sheep. Correcting a fellow believer who sins. Forgive one another. The unforgiving servant.
VERSE 1. In that hour the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?”
Who then is greatest. The disciples still have a grandiose misconception that Jesus will bring about an earthly kingdom. They want positions of great power for themselves.
a little child. The Greek word is “hpaidion.” Such a one had no rights according to the Law.
VERSE 3. and said, “Most certainly I tell you, unless you turn, and become as little children, you will in no way enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
unless you turn. The disciples see it wrongly. A change of their thinking is necessary.
VERSE 4. Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
VERSE 5. Whoever receives one such little child in my name receives me,
VERSE 6. but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him if a huge millstone were hung around his neck, and that he were sunk in the depths of the sea.
stumble. The Greek word is “skandalisê.” It means to offend, or cause to fall.
Catholic priests do this when they sexually abuse children. And so do bishops who concealed the crimes of their priests.
VERSE 7. “Woe to the world because of occasions of stumbling! For it must be that the occasions come, but woe to that person through whom the occasion comes!
VERSE 8. If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off, and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life maimed or crippled, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into the eternal fire.
VERSE 9. If your eye causes you to stumble, 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 the Gehenna of fire.
VERSE 10. See that you don’t despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
their angels. They believed in personal angels. That is, angels who are assigned to individuals:
Daniel 10:21. But I will tell you that which is inscribed in the writing of truth. There is no one who holds with me against these, but Michael your prince.
Matthew 18:10. See that you don’t despise one of these little ones, for I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
Acts 12:15. They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she insisted that it was so. They said, “It is his angel.”
angels. Most Christians believe the ministry of an angel is to guard and protect and guide.
Artists often portray guardian angels as obese caucasian babies who smile.
However, the Bible portrays angels as invisible warriors who fight on our behalf. Whenever somebody in the Bible sees an angel, they are so terrified that they collapse.
What was the mission of the Lord Jesus Christ? How did he himself define it? Here are the verses we find in the four gospels »
VERSE 12. “What do you think? If a man has one hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray?
VERSE 13. If he finds it, most certainly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine which have not gone astray.
VERSE 14. Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
VERSE 15. “If your brother sins against you, go, show him his fault between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained back your brother.
show him his fault between you and him alone. Jesus Christ calls us to resolve conflicts by approaching the other person in private. This saves face for the other person and avoids public scandal.
1 Corinthians 5:2. You are arrogant, and didn’t mourn instead, that he who had done this deed might be removed from among you.
1 Corinthians 6:1. Dare any of you, having a matter against his neighbor, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints?
VERSE 16. But if he doesn’t listen, take one or two more with you, that at the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
VERSE 17. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the assembly. If he refuses to hear the assembly also, let him be to you as a Gentile or a tax collector.
VERSE 18. Most certainly I tell you, whatever things you bind on earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever things you release on earth will have been released in heaven.
VERSE 19. Again, assuredly I tell you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they will ask, it will be done for them by my Father who is in heaven.
VERSE 20. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in the middle of them.”
there I am in the middle of them. This is a remarkable promise! Jesus will be present when just two or three of his believers assemble in his name.
VERSE 21. Then Peter came and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Until seven times?”
seventy times seven. Some people have suffered heinous offenses perpetrated by others.
They might need to forgive the perpetrator for the one offense, not just once or twice or even seven times, but seventy times seven times.
VERSE 23. Therefore the Kingdom of Heaven is like a certain king, who wanted to reconcile accounts with his servants.
VERSE 24. When he had begun to reconcile, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents.
VERSE 25. But because he couldn’t pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, with his wife, his children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
VERSE 26. The servant therefore fell down and knelt before him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will repay you all!’
VERSE 27. The lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt.
VERSE 28. “But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow servants, who owed him one hundred denarii,§ and he grabbed him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me what you owe!’
VERSE 29. “So his fellow servant fell down at his feet and begged him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will repay you!’
VERSE 30. He would not, but went and cast him into prison, until he should pay back that which was due.
VERSE 31. So when his fellow servants saw what was done, they were exceedingly sorry, and came and told their lord all that was done.
VERSE 32. Then his lord called him in, and said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt, because you begged me.
VERSE 33. Shouldn’t you also have had mercy on your fellow servant, even as I had mercy on you?’
VERSE 34. His lord was angry, and delivered him to the tormentors, until he should pay all that was due to him.
VERSE 35. So my heavenly Father will also do to you, if you don’t each forgive your brother from your hearts for his misdeeds.”
Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.