(We have not yet translated 18:1-14. You can read those stories and messages in Mark 9:34-47; Luke 15:3-7; 17:1-2.)
What if a Christian does something wrong to you?
15 Jesus told his followers, “If another one of my followers does something wrong to you, then you have to go to them and talk about it. Just the 2 of you can talk about it together, while you are alone. If they listen to you, and if they agree with you, then you can call them your friend again.*
16 But if they don’t want to listen to you, then take one or 2 other people with you, and go to that person. These other people will hear you talk about the wrong things that person did, and they will hear what that person says, and they will find out what is true.* 17 If that person will not listen to all of you, then go to the church, and tell the people in the church what happened. Let them sort it out and talk to that person. If that person doesn’t want to listen to them, then you can treat them like somebody that doesn’t follow me. They are like somebody that doesn’t know God, or like somebody that doesn’t do what God says.”
18 Then Jesus told his followers, “Listen. You are the people that will know what God wants. If you all agree that something here on this earth is wrong, it will be something that God in heaven already said is wrong. And if you all agree that something here on this earth is all right, it will be something that God in heaven already said is all right.*
19 I’m telling you this again. If you agree together about something, even if it is only 2 of you, and then you ask my father in heaven to do that thing, then he will do it for you. 20 You see, if you get together to respect me, I will be right there with you, even if it is only 2 or 3 of you at that time.”
The story about the work-man that was hard on another man
21 Then Peter went up to Jesus and said, “Teacher, if somebody is always doing wrong things to me, how many times do I have to forget it and not do payback to that person? If I forget it 7 times, is that enough? Then if they do another wrong thing, I can do payback, right?”
22 Jesus said, “No, not 7 times, but I say lots of times, like 77 times.”*
23-24 Then Jesus told them a story. He said, “I will tell you a picture story to show you what it’s like in God’s family. There was a big boss that loaned some money to his workers. After a while he wanted them to give it back. So he started to check up on them, and he got his soldiers to bring those workers to him. They brought a work-man that borrowed a real lot of money, like millions of dollars, and the boss said, ‘Give me that money now.’
25 The work-man said, ‘No, not yet. I haven’t got any money right now.’ The big boss was angry. He wanted to get some money back, so he told his soldiers, ‘Grab this man, and his wife, and his kids, and all his things, and sell them to another man. He will make them work for no pay.’
26 Then the work-man got down on his knees in front of the big boss and said to him, ‘Please, please give me more time, then I will give you back all your money.’
27 Then the big boss felt sorry for his work-man, and he changed his mind, and he said, ‘All right, you don’t have to give that money back to me. I’ll forget it. You can go free now.’
28 But after that, his work-man went away, and he met another man. Before this time, that other man borrowed a little bit of money from the work-man, just 100 dollars. So the work-man grabbed that other man’s neck and said, ‘Give me back that money right now. It’s my money.’
29 That other man went down on his knees and said, ‘Please, please give me more time. Then I will give you back your money.’
30 But the work-man said, ‘No way. I will not forget what you owe me.’ And he put that man in jail, and he told the boss over the jail to keep him there until he gives back all of that money.
31 Some of the other workers saw what happened, and they were not happy about it. So they went to the big boss and told him all about it. 32 Then the big boss got the work-man to come in, and said to him, ‘You are really bad. You asked me to forget about all my money that you borrowed. It was millions of dollars. And I was good to you. I said that you didn’t have to give it back to me. 33 So now you have to feel sorry for that other man and be good to him, just like I felt sorry for you.’ 34 The big boss was really angry, and he told the soldiers to grab that work-man, to beat him up, and to put him in jail. He will stay there until he can give all that money back to the big boss.”
35 Then Jesus said, “It’s like that with you too. You have to be good to all my other followers. If they do something bad to you, don’t do payback to them. Just forget it. Then, in the same way, my father in heaven will not do payback to you.”
(We have not yet translated chapter 19. You can read those stories and messages in Mark 10:1-31.)
* 18:15 Luke 17:3 * 18:16 Deuteronomy 19:15 * 18:18 Matthew 16:19; John 20:23 * 18:22 Luke 17:3-4; Genesis 4:24