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The Bible in Living English
18 At that same time the disciples came to Jesus, saying “Who then is greatest in the Reign of Heaven?” 2 And he called a child to him and set it in the middle among them, 3 and said “I tell you verily, if you do not turn and become like the children you shall not get into the Reign of Heaven. 4 So whoever makes himself small like this child, he is greatest in the Reign of Heaven. 5 And anybody who receives one such child in my name is receiving me; 6 but anybody who trips up one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be well for him that an ass-power millstone should be hung around his neck and that he should be sunk in the sea far from land. 7 Woe to the world for trippings-up! for the trippings-up have to come, yet woe to the man through whom the tripping-up comes. 8 And if your hand or your foot is tripping you up, cut it away and throw it from you; it is a better thing for you to pass into life one-armed or a cripple than to be thrown into the eternal fire with two hands or two feet. 9 And if your eye is tripping you up, take it out and throw it from you; it is a better thing for you to pass into life one-eyed than to be thrown into the hell of fire with two eyes. 10 “See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels continually see the face of my Father in heaven. 11 —— 12 What do you think? if some man has a hundred sheep and one of them strays, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go looking for the stray? 13 and if he does find it, I tell you verily he is gladder of it than of the ninety-nine that did not stray. 14 Just so it is no will of my Father in heaven that one of these little ones should be lost. 15 “But if your brother sins, go bring it home to him between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take with you one or two more, so that every point may be established at the mouth of two or three witnesses; 17 and if he disregards their words, tell the church; and if he disregards the words of the church too, let him be to you as the heathen and the customhouse officer are. 18 I tell you verily, such things as you declare unlawful on earth shall be declared unlawful in heaven, and such things as you declare lawful on earth shall be declared lawful in heaven. 19* Again, I tell you verily that if on earth two of you agree about anything that they ask for, they shall have it from my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are met in my name, there am I among them.” 21 Then Peter came to him and said to him “Sir, how many times shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? up to seven times?” 22 Jesus said to him “I do not tell you ‘up to seven times,’ but up to seventy-seven times. 23* For this reason the Reign of Heaven resembles a king who wanted to have an accounting with his servants; 24* and when he began his accounting there was one brought to him who was debtor to the amount of ten thousand talents; 25 and, he not being able to pay, his master gave orders that he be sold, and his wife and his children and everything that he had, and that payment be made. 26 So the servant threw himself down and did him reverence, saying ‘Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.’ 27 And that servant’s master was moved to pity, and set him at liberty and released him from the loan. 28 But when that servant went out he found one of his fellow-servants who owed him a hundred denarii, and he took hold of him and went to choking him, saying ‘Pay whatever you owe.’ 29 So his fellow-servant threw himself down and appealed to him, saying ‘Have patience with me and I will pay you’; 30 but he would not, but went off and threw him into prison till he should pay what was due. 31 So when his fellow-servants saw what happened they were greatly grieved, and came and informed their master of all that had happened. 32* Then his master called him to him and said to him ‘You villain, I released you from all that debt, since you had appealed to me; 33 ought not you too to have taken pity on your fellow-servant the same as I did on you?’ 34 and in anger his master handed him over to the torturers till he should pay all that was due him. 35 So will my heavenly Father also do to you if you do not each forgive your brother from your heart.”