Bible Society of South Africa

Bible Reading Plan – Day 280

Bible text(s)

A Brother or Sister who Sins

15“If your brother sins against you, go to him and show him his fault. But do it privately, just between yourselves. If he listens to you, you have won your brother back. 16But if he will not listen to you, take one or two other persons with you, so that ‘every accusation may be upheld by the testimony of two or more witnesses,’ as the scripture says. 17And if he will not listen to them, then tell the whole thing to the church. Finally, if he will not listen to the church, treat him as though he were a pagan or a tax collector.

Prohibiting and Permitting

18“And so I tell all of you: what you prohibit on earth will be prohibited in heaven, and what you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.

19“And I tell you more: whenever two of you on earth agree about anything you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them.”

The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant

21Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, if my brother keeps on sinning against me, how many times do I have to forgive him? Seven times?”

22“No, not seven times,” answered Jesus, “but seventy times seven, 23because the Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a king who decided to check on his servants' accounts. 24He had just begun to do so when one of them was brought in who owed him millions of pounds. 25The servant did not have enough to pay his debt, so the king ordered him to be sold as a slave, with his wife and his children and all that he had, in order to pay the debt. 26The servant fell on his knees before the king. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay you everything!’ 27The king felt sorry for him, so he forgave him the debt and let him go.

28“Then the man went out and met one of his fellow-servants who owed him a few pounds. He grabbed him and started choking him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he said. 29His fellow-servant fell down and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back!’ 30But he refused; instead, he had him thrown into jail until he should pay the debt. 31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were very upset and went to the king and told him everything. 32So he called the servant in. ‘You worthless slave!’ he said. ‘I forgave you the whole amount you owed me, just because you asked me to. 33You should have had mercy on your fellow-servant, just as I had mercy on you.’ 34The king was very angry, and he sent the servant to jail to be punished until he should pay back the whole amount.”

35And Jesus concluded, “That is how my Father in heaven will treat every one of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

Jesus Teaches about Divorce

(Mk 10.1–12)

1When Jesus finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the territory of Judea on the other side of the River Jordan. 2Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

3Some Pharisees came to him and tried to trap him by asking, “Does our Law allow a man to divorce his wife for whatever reason he wishes?”

4Jesus answered, “Haven't you read the scripture that says that in the beginning the Creator made people male and female? 5And God said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one.’ 6So they are no longer two, but one. No human being must separate, then, what God has joined together.”

7The Pharisees asked him, “Why, then, did Moses give the law for a man to hand his wife a divorce notice and send her away?”

8Jesus answered, “Moses gave you permission to divorce your wives because you are so hard to teach. But it was not like that at the time of creation. 9I tell you, then, that any man who divorces his wife for any cause other than her unfaithfulness, commits adultery if he marries some other woman.”

10His disciples said to him, “If this is how it is between a man and his wife, it is better not to marry.”

11Jesus answered, “This teaching does not apply to everyone, but only to those to whom God has given it. 12For there are different reasons why men cannot marry: some, because they were born that way; others, because men made them that way; and others do not marry for the sake of the Kingdom of heaven. Let him who can accept this teaching do so.”

Jesus Blesses Little Children

(Mk 10.13–16; Lk 18.15–17)

13Some people brought children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and to pray for them, but the disciples scolded the people. 14Jesus said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

15He placed his hands on them and then went away.

The Rich Young Man

(Mk 10.17–31; Lk 18.18–30)

16Once a man came to Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what good thing must I do to receive eternal life?”

17“Why do you ask me concerning what is good?” answered Jesus. “There is only One who is good. Keep the commandments if you want to enter life.”

18“What commandments?” he asked.

Jesus answered, “Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not accuse anyone falsely; 19respect your father and your mother; and love your neighbour as you love yourself.”

20“I have obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else do I need to do?”

21Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me.”

22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he was very rich.

23Jesus then said to his disciples, “I assure you: it will be very hard for rich people to enter the Kingdom of heaven. 24I repeat: it is much harder for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle.”

25When the disciples heard this, they were completely amazed. “Who, then, can be saved?” they asked.

26Jesus looked straight at them and answered, “This is impossible for human beings, but for God everything is possible.”

27Then Peter spoke up. “Look,” he said, “we have left everything and followed you. What will we have?”

28Jesus said to them, “You can be sure that when the Son of Man sits on his glorious throne in the New Age, then you twelve followers of mine will also sit on thrones, to rule the twelve tribes of Israel. 29And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times more and will be given eternal life. 30But many who now are first will be last, and many who now are last will be first.

The Workers in the Vineyard

1“The Kingdom of heaven is like this. Once there was a man who went out early in the morning to hire some men to work in his vineyard. 2He agreed to pay them the regular wage, a silver coin a day, and sent them to work in his vineyard. 3He went out again to the market place at nine o'clock and saw some men standing there doing nothing, 4so he told them, ‘You also go and work in the vineyard, and I will pay you a fair wage.’ 5So they went. Then at twelve o'clock and again at three o'clock he did the same thing. 6It was nearly five o'clock when he went to the market place and saw some other men still standing there. ‘Why are you wasting the whole day here doing nothing?’ he asked them. 7‘No one hired us,’ they answered. ‘Well, then, you also go and work in the vineyard,’ he told them.

8“When evening came, the owner told his foreman, ‘Call the workers and pay them their wages, starting with those who were hired last and ending with those who were hired first.’ 9The men who had begun to work at five o'clock were paid a silver coin each. 10So when the men who were the first to be hired came to be paid, they thought they would get more; but they too were given a silver coin each. 11They took their money and started grumbling against the employer. 12‘These men who were hired last worked only one hour,’ they said, ‘while we put up with a whole day's work in the hot sun — yet you paid them the same as you paid us!’

13“ ‘Listen, friend,’ the owner answered one of them, ‘I have not cheated you. After all, you agreed to do a day's work for one silver coin. 14Now take your pay and go home. I want to give this man who was hired last as much as I have given you. 15Don't I have the right to do as I wish with my own money? Or are you jealous because I am generous?’ ”

16And Jesus concluded, “So those who are last will be first, and those who are first will be last.”

Jesus Speaks a Third Time about his Death

17As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside and spoke to them privately, as they walked along. 18“Listen,” he told them, “we are going up to Jerusalem, where the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the teachers of the Law. They will condemn him to death 19and then hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him, whip him, and crucify him; but three days later he will be raised to life.”

A Mother's Request

20Then the wife of Zebedee came to Jesus with her two sons, bowed before him, and asked him a favour.

21“What do you want?” Jesus asked her.

She answered, “Promise me that these two sons of mine will sit at your right and your left when you are King.”

22“You don't know what you are asking for,” Jesus answered the sons. “Can you drink the cup of suffering that I am about to drink?”

“We can,” they answered.

23“You will indeed drink from my cup,” Jesus told them, “but I do not have the right to choose who will sit at my right and my left. These places belong to those for whom my Father has prepared them.”

24When the other ten disciples heard about this, they became angry with the two brothers. 25So Jesus called them all together and said, “You know that the rulers of the heathen have power over them, and the leaders have complete authority. 26This, however, is not the way it shall be among you. If one of you wants to be great, he must be the servant of the rest; 27and if one of you wants to be first, he must be your slave — 28like the Son of Man, who did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life to redeem many people.”

Jesus Heals Two Blind Men

29As Jesus and his disciples were leaving Jericho, a large crowd was following. 30Two blind men who were sitting by the road heard that Jesus was passing by, so they began to shout, “Son of David! Take pity on us, sir!”

31The crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even more loudly, “Son of David! Take pity on us, sir!”

32Jesus stopped and called them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked them.

33“Sir,” they answered, “we want you to give us our sight!”

34Jesus had pity on them and touched their eyes; at once they were able to see, and they followed him.

Matthew 18:15-20:34GNBOpen in Bible reader
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