Matthew 18 – Forgive Seventy Times Seven – The Gospels

Read Book of Matthew TextOn the same occasion the disciples came to Jesus, and asked him: “Who is really the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 Jesus called a little child to him, and placed it in the middle of them, and then said: 3 “I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven at all. 4 Therefore, all who humble themselves like this child shall be the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And anyone who, for the sake of my name, welcomes even one little child like this, is welcoming me.”

6 “But, if anyone who puts a snare in the way of one of these lowly ones who believe in me, it would be best for them to be sunk in the depths of the sea, with a great millstone hung round their neck. 7 Woe to the world because of such snares! There cannot but be snares; yet woe to you who is answerable for the snare! 8 If your hand or your foot is a snare to you, cut it off, and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter the life maimed or lame, than to have both hands, or both feet, and be thrown into the Aeonian fire.”

9 “If your eye is a snare to you, take it out, and throw it away. It would be better for you to enter into life with only one eye, than to have both eyes thrown into the fiery pit. 10 Beware of despising one of these lowly ones, for in heaven, I tell you, their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.”

12 “What do you think? If you owned a hundred sheep, and one of them strayed, would you not leave the ninety-nine on the hills, and go and search for the one that is straying? 13 And, if you succeed in finding it, I tell you that you would rejoice more over that one sheep than over the ninety-nine which did not stray. 14 So, too, it is the will of my Father, who is in heaven, that not one of these lowly ones should be lost.”

15 “If your brother or sister does wrong, go to them and convince them of their fault when you are alone together. If you are listened to, you have won them over. 16 But, if you are not listened to, take with you one or two others, so that ‘on the evidence of two or three witnesses, every word may be put beyond dispute.’ 17 If they are refused also, speak to the church; and, if the church is refused, treat the wrong-doer as you would a Gentile or a tax-gatherer.”

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18 “I tell you, all that you forbid on earth will be held in heaven to be forbidden, and all that you allow on earth will be held in heaven to be allowed.1 19 Again, I tell you that, if but two of you on earth agree as to what they shall pray for, whatever it be, it will be granted them by my Father who is in heaven. 20 For where two or three have come together in my name, I am present with them.”

21 Then Peter came up, and said to Jesus: “Master, how often am I to forgive others when they wrong me? As many as seven times?”2 22 But Jesus answered: “Not seven times, but ‘seventy times seven.’ 23 And therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants. 24 When he had begun to do so, one of them was brought to him who owed him six million pounds; And, as he could not pay, his master ordered him to be sold towards the payment of the debt, together with his wife, and his children, and everything that he had. 26 Thereupon the servant threw himself down on the ground before him and said: ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you all.’ 27 The master was moved with compassion; and he let him go, and forgave him the debt.”

28 “But, on going out, that same servant came upon one of his fellow-servants who owed him ten pounds. Seizing him by the throat, he said: ‘Pay what you owe me.’ 29 Thereupon his fellow-servant threw himself on the ground and begged for mercy. ‘Have patience with me,’ he said, ‘and I will pay you.’ 30 But the other would not, but went and put him in prison till he should pay his debt. 31 When his fellow-servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and went to their master and laid the whole matter before him.”

32 “Upon that the master sent for the servant, and said to him: ‘You wicked servant! When you begged me for mercy, I forgave you the whole of that debt. 33 Ought not you, also, to have shown mercy to your fellow servant, just as I showed mercy to you?’ 34 Then his master, in anger, handed him over to the jailers, until he should pay the whole of his debt. 35 So, also, will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each one of you forgives your brother from his heart.”3


To read Chapter 19 of the Gospel of Matthew, please go to: The First Will Be Last. Browse the entire Gospel of Matthew here: Gospel of Matthew.

  1. Explore what this Gospel of Matthew passage means in relationship to the Lord’s Prayer and a life of Christian faith at: On Earth as it is in Heaven Meaning. []
  2. Read Bible commentary of this verse on forgiveness from the Book of Matthew at: As We Forgive Those Who Trespass Against Us. []
  3. Go to Chapter 9 of The Lord’s Prayer for Daily Life to read Lord’s Prayer Commentary of this verse on forgiveness. []