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Matthew 18

Questions About the Greatest

1 In that hour the disciples came to Jesus saying: Who then is greater in the kingdom of the heavens? 2 And when he called [a] child he stood him in their midst 3 and said: Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become as the child, you will not enter into the kingdom of the heavens. 4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this child, this is the greater in the kingdom of the heavens. 5 And whoever receives [one] such child in my name receives me.

6 but whoever causes one of these little [ones] believing in me to stumble, it is better for him that [a] millstone be hung around his neck and he be sunk in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of those1 causing stumbling. It is necessary for stumbling to come, nevertheless woe to the man through whom comes the stumbling. 8 But if your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw [it] from you. It is better for you to enter into zoe-life2 crippled or deformed than having two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to stumble, tear it out and throw [it] from you. It is better for you to enter into zoe-life2 one-eyed than having two eyes to be thrown into the Gehenna of fire3 .

Parable of the Lost Sheep

10 Be seeing that you do not despise one of these little [ones], For I say to you that their angels in [the] heavens always see the face of my father in the heavens. 11 For the son of man came to save the lost.4

12 How does it seem to you? If it should come to pass to [a] certain man one hundred sheep and one of them gone astray, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and having gone seek the [one] gone astray? 13 And if it come to pass he finds it, truly I say to you that he rejoices upon it more than upon the ninety-nine that had not gone astray. 14 Thus it is not [a] wish before your father in the heavens that [one] of these little [ones] be lost5 .

Restoring Relationships

15 But if your brother sins, go tell him between you and him only. If he hears you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he not hear you, take along with you yet one or two, that on [the] mouth of two or three testifiers might stand every word. 17 But if he not hear them, speak to the assembly6 . And if he refuse to hear the assembly6, he must be to you as the gentile and the tax-gatherer.

18 Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on the earth will have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on the earth will have been loosed in heaven. 19 Again I truly say to you that if two among you be in agreement on the earth concerning any matter that they ask7 , it will come to pass from my father in [the] heavens. 20 For when two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in their midst.

21 Then Peter having come he said to him: Lord, how often will my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Until seven? 22 Jesus says to him: I do not say to you until seven, but until seventy times seven.

The Parable of the Unforgiving Slave

23 Because of this the kingdom of the heavens is like to [a] man [who is] king, who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 So when he began to be settling [them], there was brought to him [a] debtor of [a] thousand talents. 25 And not having [them] to pay, the lord ordered him to be sold and his wife and his children and all that he has for payment. 26 The slave therefore falling down knelt before him saying: Be patient with me, and I will pay all to you. 27 And the lord having compassion on this slave loosed him, and allowed him the loan. 28 So when that slave went out he found one of his fellow-slaves, which owed him [a] hundred denari, and laying hold he was choking him saying: Pay what you owe! 29 Falling down therefore his fellow-slave knelt before him saying: Be patient with me and I will pay you. 30 But he did not wish to, but having departed, threw him into prison until he pay the debt. 31 His fellow-slaves therefore seeing what came to pass were greatly troubled, and having come, reported to their lord all that came to pass. 32 Then when his lord called him he said to him: Wicked8 slave, all this debt I allowed you because you called upon me. 33 Mustn't you also have mercy on your fellow-slave as I also had mercy on you? 34 And having been angered, his lord gave him over to the torturer9 until he pay all his debt to him. 35 Thus also your heavenly father will do to you, if you do not forgive each of your brothers from your heart.

1can also mean "those things"

2from ZOE "ZOH-ay" (ζωη)—Life 'collectively', interdependent, interconnected. Although it means 'life' in the conventional sense (for example: Matt.9:18, Matt.27:63, Luke.2:36, Acts.25:24, Rom.7:2, 2Cor.1:8, 1Thes.4:17, 1Tim.5:10, Rev.19:20), Jesus uses ZOE exclusively of 'life eternal' (with the possible exceptions of Luke.15:13, Luke.16:25). The other N.T. writers use ZOE in both senses—temporal and eternal, generally clear from the context. The Father is the 'zoe-living God' (see Matt.16:16). The Septuagint (LXX) in Gen.2:7 has "...[God] breathed into his nostrils the breath of zoe-life, and the man became a zoe-living psyche-life" (and see 1Cor.15:45); and Gen.3:20 (LXX) "And Adam called his wife's name ZOE, because she was the mother of all zoe-living." Contrast PSYCHE (ψυχη): an individual manifestation of life/consciousness. See John.12:25 where both ZOE and PSYCHE occur. Greek also has the word BIOS (βιoς ) for 'life' in the sense of biological processes.

3"Gehenna" (γεεννα) was a garbage dump outside of Jerusalem that was perpetually on fire.

4vs. 11: DW K vg few; omit vs. 11: ℵB

5APOLLUMI (απoλλυμι) To lose something that one previously possessed. Can also mean `ruin' or `destroy'—see Rev.9:11 where the angel of the Abyss is named `Apollyon' (same root word).

6EKKLESIA (εκκλησια) from "called out". Appears 114 times in the N.T., but only in two places in the Gospels ( Matt.16:18 (twice) and Matt.18:17 (twice)). It's worth noting that when Jesus uses the term EKKLESIA, Christian community as we know it didn't yet exist—there were only the disciples. EKKLESIA is apparently different from 'synagogue' (SYNAGOGE (συναγωγη) which occurs 56 times in the N.T.) EKKLESIA is used in secular Greek literature of a popular assembly 'called to assemble', and also of those 'called' to a cult. EKKLESIA is used frequently in the N.T. outside of the Gospels to refer to Christian communities, but in Acts.7:38 it is used of the people of Israel led through the desert by Moses, and in Acts.19:32 ff. of a secular assembly. Thus, all told, the common translation of EKKLESIA as 'church' doesn't really reflect 1st century usage—it seems to mean more like 'a group of people assembled for some specific purpose'.

7AITEO "ay-TEH-oh" (αιτεω) "request", "demand", "beg" something for oneself. Far from humbly requesting—it's more like 'demanding'. Jesus uses AITEO only of the prayer of others, not of His own (cf. John.16:26)—and not requesting things for Himself, only for others. AITEO seems to suppose a lesser degree of intimacy than EROTAO (ερωταω), hence AITEO is used of the requests of the disciples to God, but EROTAO of the requests of the disciples to Jesus, and of those of Jesus to the Father ( John.14:16). AITEO is demanding/begging/pleading, EROTAO is polite and friendlier. Both AITEO and EROTAO occur in John.16:26.

8PONEROS (πoνηρoς ) here. The Greek word KAKOS (κακoς ) is always translated `evil', PONEROS is usually translated as `wicked' although occasionally as `bad'; it can also mean 'diseased', 'sickly' and is thus translated where appropriate. Like KAKOS, PONEROS also means `evil', but the harm that evil does is more in view, where KAKOS is more `evil as evil'.

9or "jailer". Jailors at that time were also responsible for torturing.