The Gospel According to Matthew

Chapter 18

Christ warns his disciples to be humble and harmless, 1-6, to avoid offenses, 7-9, and not to despise the little ones, 10-14; teaches how we are to deal with our brothers when they offend us, 15-20, and how often to forgive them, 21, 22; which he sets forth by a parable of the king who took account of his servants, 23-31, and punished him who showed no mercy to his fellow, 32-35.

1 At the same time, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" 2 And Jesus called a little child to him and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever therefore humbles himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever receives one such little child in my name, receives me. 6 But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him that a millstone were hanged around his neck and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

7 "Woe to the world because of offenses! For it is necessary that offenses come. But woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

8 "Therefore, if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut them off and cast them from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed than to have two hands or two feet and be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye than to have two eyes and be cast into hell-fire.

10 "Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I say to you, that in heaven their angels always behold 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 one hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine, go to the mountains, and seek that which has gone astray? 13 And if he finds it, truly I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine which did not go astray. 14 Likewise, it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

15 "Moreover, if your brother trespasses against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear you, then take with you one or two more so that 'in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.' 17 And if he neglects to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he neglects to hear the church, let him be to you as a heathen and a tax collector. 18 Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

19 "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it shall 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 the midst of them."

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

23 "Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is compared to a certain king who wanted to take account of his servants. 24 And when he began to settle accounts, someone was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents. 25 But because he did not have ability to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife, children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. 26 The servant therefore fell down and worshiped him, saying, 'Lord, have patience with me and I will pay you everything.' 27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, released him, and forgave his debt. 28 But the same servant went out, found one of his fellow-servants who owed him one hundred denarii, laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, 'Pay me what you owe.' 29 And his fellow-servant fell down at his feet and implored him, saying, 'Have patience with me and I will pay you everything.' 30 And he would not, but went and cast him into prison until he should pay the debt. 31 So when his fellow-servants saw what was done, they were very sorry and came and told to their lord all that was done. 32 Then his lord, having called him, said to him, 'O you wicked servant, I forgave you of all that debt because you desired me. 33 Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow-servant, even as I had pity on you?' 34 And his lord was angry and delivered him to the tormentors until he should pay everything that was due to him. 35 So my heavenly Father shall do likewise to you, if each of you from your hearts do not forgive his brother for his trespasses."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Matthew, Chapter 18[➚]


[v.1-5] - Gospel Link: Mark 9:34-37; Luke 9:46-48.

[v.6] - Gospel Link: Mark 9:42; Luke 17:2.

[v.7] - Gospel Link: Luke 17:1.

[v.8-9] - Gospel Link: Mark 9:43-48.

[v.11] - Reference, Ezekiel 34:11-16.

[v.12-13] - Gospel Link: Luke 15:4-5.

[v.15] - Gospel Link: Luke 17:3.

[v.16] - Quoting Deuteronomy 19:15. Reference, John 8:17; 2nd Corinthians 13:1; 1st Timothy 5:19.

[v.21-22] - Gospel Link: Luke 17:4.