Rank in the Kingdom
1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 He called a little child and set him before them,
3 and said, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless you repent [that is, change your inner self—your old way of thinking, live changed lives] and become like children [trusting, humble, and forgiving], you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4 Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 Whoever receives and welcomes one child like this in My name receives Me;
6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble and sin [by leading him away from My teaching], it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone [as large as one turned by a donkey] hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
7 “Woe (judgment is coming) to the world because of stumbling blocks and temptations to sin! It is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to the person on whose account or through whom the stumbling block comes!
8 “If your hand or your foot causes you to stumble and sin, cut it off and throw it away from you [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; it is better for you to enter life crippled or lame, than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into everlasting fire.
9 If your eye causes you to stumble and sin, pluck it out and throw it away from you [that is, remove yourself from the source of temptation]; it is better for you to enter life with only one eye, than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fiery hell.
10 “See that you do not despise or think less of one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven [are in the presence of and] continually look upon the face of My Father who is in heaven.
11 [For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.]Matthew 18:1-11 (AMP)
- Matthew 18:4 I.e. turns his back on self-righteous pride and adopts a realistic self-view.
- Matthew 18:5 I.e. new, childlike believer.
- Matthew 18:11 Early mss do not contain this verse.