Matthew 18



Matthew 18 contains teachings on humility, the dangers of causing others to stumble, the value of each individual, the process of addressing sin within the community, and the importance of forgiveness. The overarching theme is the call to humility, love, and reconciliation within the Kingdom of Heaven.


  1. The Greatest in the Kingdom (Matthew 18:1-5): The disciples ask Jesus about greatness in the kingdom of heaven. In response, Jesus places a child among them and emphasizes the need for childlike humility. He teaches that whoever humbles themselves like a child is the greatest in the kingdom.
  2. Warnings Against Causing Others to Stumble (Matthew 18:6-9): Jesus issues strong warnings about causing others to stumble in their faith. He emphasizes the seriousness of leading others into sin and the extreme measures one should take to avoid such actions.
  3. The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Matthew 18:10-14): Jesus shares the parable of the lost sheep, highlighting the shepherd's concern for each individual. He illustrates the Father's joy over one sinner who repents, emphasizing the importance of seeking and saving the lost.
  4. Dealing with Sin in the Church (Matthew 18:15-20): Jesus provides a process for addressing sin within the community of believers. If someone sins against another, the offended party should address the issue privately. If that doesn't resolve the matter, it should be brought before the church. Jesus also emphasizes the power of united prayer.
  5. The Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-35): Peter asks Jesus about forgiveness, and Jesus responds with the parable of the unforgiving servant. The story illustrates the importance of forgiving others, emphasizing the vast difference between the forgiven debt owed to God and the smaller debts owed by fellow humans.