Chapter 18 of the Gospel of Matthew is one of the Five Discourses of Matthew and also called the Discourse on the Church. It includes the parables of The Lost Sheep and The Unforgiving Servant which also refer to the Kingdom of Heaven. The general theme of the discourse is the anticipation of a future community of followers, and the role of his apostles in leading it.
Addressing his apostles in 18:18, Jesus states: "what things soever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what things soever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven", see also Binding and loosing. The discourse emphasizes the importance of humility and self-sacrifice as the high virtues within the anticipated community. It teaches that in the Kingdom of God, it is childlike humility that matters, not social prominence and clout.
The chapter can be divided into the following subsections:
- The Little Children (18:1–7)
- If thy hand offend thee (18:8–9)
- Parable of the Lost Sheep (18:10–14)
- Binding and loosing (18:15–22)
- Parable of the unforgiving servant (18:23–35)
|Chapters of the New Testament
Gospel of Matthew