Good judgment wins favour,
but the way of the unfaithful leads to their destruction.
There are two reasons the “treacherous” come to ruin. The first is justice. Usually in this lifetime, always in the next life, justice punishes wrongdoing. The other reason is that wrongdoing is not wise. It can seem to be clever to lie, to plot ways to get ahead of a competitor or take advantage of a customer; but such actions lay traps for future failure. Such a person earns distrust and contempt. He must now expend energy protecting himself from his enemies. He becomes suspicious of everyone because through his own example he knows how devious others can be.
“Good” people often act without good sense. For one thing, they put too much confidence in their own goodness, thinking that others will act the same way; that others will recognize their good behavior and intentions. They become puzzled to learn that they have offended their colleagues, not realizing how their “goodness” comes across as self-righteousness; how their “goodness” has blinded them to the ways they have offended others through their speech and behavior.
Good sense means being sensible to the people around you. It means being able to judge properly the circumstances in which you find yourself, and not barging into a situation with your own agenda unaware of how foolish or offensive you may appear. Use good sense today. Pray for good sense. You don’t know what awaits you. All the more reason to go through the day prayerfully, asking the Spirit to grant you good sense.
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
Causing to stumble
6 ‘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 round their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 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! 8 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. 9 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.
The parable of the wandering sheep
10 ‘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. [a]
12 ‘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? 13 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. 14 In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.
Dealing with sin in the church
15 ‘If your brother or sister[b] sins,[c] go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 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.”[d] 17 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.
19 ‘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. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.’
The parable of the unmerciful servant
21 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?’
22 Jesus answered, ‘I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.[g]
23 ‘Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. 24 As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold[h] was brought to him. 25 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.
26 ‘At this the servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.” 27 The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled the debt and let him go.
28 ‘But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins.[i] He grabbed him and began to choke him. “Pay back what you owe me!” he demanded.
29 ‘His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, “Be patient with me, and I will pay it back.”
30 ‘But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt. 31 When the other servants saw what had happened, they were outraged and went and told their master everything that had happened.
32 ‘Then the master called the servant in. “You wicked servant,” he said, “I cancelled all that debt of yours because you begged me to. 33 Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?” 34 In anger his master handed him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.
35 ‘This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’
19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?’
4 ‘Haven’t you read,’ he replied, ‘that at the beginning the Creator “made them male and female,”[j] 5 and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh”[k]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.’
7 ‘Why then,’ they asked, ‘did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?’
8 Jesus replied, ‘Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.’
10 The disciples said to him, ‘If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.’
11 Jesus replied, ‘Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others – and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.’
The little children and Jesus
13 Then people brought little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked them.
14 Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’ 15 When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
The rich and the kingdom of God
16 Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’
17 ‘Why do you ask me about what is good?’ Jesus replied. ‘There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.’
18 ‘Which ones?’ he enquired.
Jesus replied, ‘“You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, 19 honour your father and mother,”[l] and “love your neighbour as yourself.”[m]’
20 ‘All these I have kept,’ the young man said. ‘What do I still lack?’
21 Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’
22 When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. 24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’
25 When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’
26 Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’
27 Peter answered him, ‘We have left everything to follow you! What then will there be for us?’
28 Jesus said to them, ‘Truly I tell you, at the renewal of all things, when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife[n] or children or fields for my sake will receive a hundred times as much and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.