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Series Theme: FRAMEWORKS: Matthew's Gospel

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Frameworks: Matthew's Gospel, chapter 18


(The objective of these ‘Frameworks' is to provide an easy-to-read layout of the text in order then to use these individual verses for verse-by-verse study or meditation. To focus each verse we have also added in italic a description of what is happening)


FRAMEWORKS: Matthew, chapter 18

v.1-5 The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

v.6-9 Causing to Stumble

v.10-14 The Parable of the Wandering Sheep

v.15-20 Dealing with Sin in the Church

v.21-25 The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant



v.1-5 The Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven


v.1 (the disciples ask about seniority in the kingdom) At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

v.2 (Jesus took a small child as an example ) He called a little child to him and placed the child among them.

v.3 (unless you become childlike you can't enter the kingdom) And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

v.4 (therefore, step down and become great) Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

v.5 (welcoming such a one welcomes me) And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.


v.6-9 Causing to Stumble


v.6 (if anyone hinders these little ones from knowing me, they'll be in big trouble) “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.

v.7 (people who bring such hindrances will be in big trouble) Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

v.8 (you'd do better to cut off part of your life than stumble and be excluded from God's kingdom) If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire.

v.9 (seriously, chop it off, cut it out!) And if your eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.



v.10-14 The Parable of the Wandering Sheep


v.10 (don't despise the young in faith, Gd loves them) “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.

v.12 (consider a shepherd who loses one sheep, won't he go off looking for that lost one) “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?

v.13 (and when he finds it, what rejoicing!) And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he is happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off.

v.14 (similarly my Father wants none of these lost) In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.



v.15-20 Dealing with Sin in the Church


v.15 (look, in someone close to you sins, just go by yourself and talk to them about it) “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

v.16 (if they won't listen, take along one or two others – you know the law about two witnesses) But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses. ' [Deut. 19:15]

v.17 (if they still refuse, tell the church so if they then continue, they can be put out) If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector.

v.18 (as God's servants you have authority to bind or loose as He leads you because that will then mean you're only doing what heaven already dictates) “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.

v.19 (if two of you agree in the Spirit, it will be done by heaven) “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

v.20 (for two or three coming in my name mean I'll be there) For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”



v.21-25 The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant


v.21 (Peter asked how many times he needed to forgive someone) Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

v.22 (so many times you stop counting) Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.

v.23 (think of it like a king who needs to settle accounts) “Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.

v.24 (a man with a big debt comes to him) As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him.

v.25 (he's going to be punished because he can't pay) Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.

v.26 (he begs for mercy) “At this the servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,' he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.'

v.27 (so the king cancels the debt) The servant's master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.

v.28 (but now that man finds another who owes him and treats him harshly) “But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!' he demanded.

v.29 (the man pleads with him) “His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.'

v.30 (but he is merciless) “But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.

v.31 (and so word gets back to the king, the master) When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.

v.32 (who confronts him) “Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,' he said, ‘I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.

v.33 (you should have been merciful as I was to you) Shouldn't you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?'

v.34 (so he has him thrown into jail) In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.

v.35 (get the message?) “This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”