Ferrar Fenton Bible: Matthew 18

The Messiah's Little Ones

About that time, the disciples approached Jesus, inquiring, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven?" Then Jesus, calling a child to Him, placed him in the midst of them, and said:

"I tell you indeed, that if you do not turn back, and become like those children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Whoever therefore may humble himself like this child, he is the most exalted in the Kingdom of Heaven. And if any accept one such child for My Name's sake, he accepts Me; but if he cause to sin one of the least of such, who believe in Me, it would be better for him that a great millstone should be hung around his neck, and be sunk into the depth of the sea.

"Woe to the whole world because of stumbling-blocks! It is necessary for stumbling-blocks to come; but woe to the man by means of whom they are set up! If even your hand or foot leads you to stumble, cut it off, and fling it from you: for it is far better for you to enter into life maimed or lame, than to have two hands or two feet to be thrown into the enduring fire. And if your eye tempts you to sin, pluck it out, and throw it from you: it is better for you to enter into life with but one eye, than having two eyes to be hurled into the fire of Gehenna. See that you do not slight one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always gaze upon the face of My Father Who is in heaven.

On Forgiveness

"What do you think? If it should happen that a man possessed a hundred sheep, and one of them strayed, would he not leave the ninety-nine upon the hill, and go in search of the wanderer? And if he finds it, I tell you indeed, that he rejoices over that one more than over the ninety-nine which did not go astray. In the same way, it is the wish of My Father Who is in heaven that not one of these little ones should be destroyed.

"If your brother ever wrongs you, go and remonstrate with him while you are by yourselves. If he should listen to you, you will have won your brother over; but if he will not listen, take one or two others along with you, so that by the evidence of two or three witnesses the whole affair may be settled. Then, if he will not listen to them, report it to the assembly; and if he also refuses to listen to the assembly, let him be to you just as a heathen and a tax-farmer.

"I tell you indeed, that whatever you may settle upon earth shall be settled in heaven; and if you forgive upon earth, it will be forgiven in heaven. I tell you, further, that If two of you agree together upon the earth concerning anything for which you ask, it will come to you from My Father Who is in heaven. For where two or three gather together for the sake of My Name, I am there in the midst of them."

Then Peter approached Him, and asked, "How often must my brother wrong me, and I forgive him? for seven times?" "I tell you not seven times merely," Jesus answered him; "but on the contrary, until seventy times seven!

"Because of this, the Kingdom of Heaven may be compared to a particular king, who decided to settle accounts with his officials. And on his beginning to balance, one was brought to him who was indebted to the extent of ten thousand talents.1 And as he possessed nothing with which to refund it, his master ordered him to be sold, along with his wife and children, and everything he had, so that a liquidation might be effected. The official therefore falling down, implored him, saying, 'Master, be patient with me, and I will repay you all.' The master of that official then took pity upon him, released him, and overlooked the debt. That selfsame official, however, on going out, met one of his fellow-officials, who owed him five pounds, and he seized him by the throat, exclaiming, 'Pay me all you owe!' Therefore his companion, falling at his feet, implored him, saying, 'Wait a little while, and I will repay you.' He would not, however; but sent the debtor to prison, until he should repay the amount due. Then his fellow-officials, seeing what had taken place, were greatly grieved; and going to their master, they related the whole of the particulars. Then the master, calling him forward, said to him, 'You contemptible scoundrel! I remitted to you the whole of that debt, when you asked me; would it not have been little enough for you to have pitied your fellow-official?' His infuriated master accordingly handed him over to the jailors, until he should refund the whole of his debt.

"In like manner, My Father, the Heavenly One, will do to you, if you do not every one from your hearts pardon your brothers."

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  1. About two million pounds.

Transcribed by Mark Hicks on 12-31-2014