Matthew

The parable of the workers in the vineyard – the last will be first and the first will be last (Matthew 20:1 – 20:16).

After telling the disciples how difficult it is for a rich person to enter heaven, Jesus said, “Many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first.” To explain, he then told them a parable about workers in a vineyard. Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out in the early morning to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them a denarius for a day’s work and sent them into the field. Later, about 9:00 in the morning, he went out and saw others standing in the marketplace with no work. He told them, “Go and work in my vineyard and I will pay you whatever is right.” So they went. He went out again around noon

Jesus tells us it’s easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone rich to enter heaven (Matthew 19:16 – 19:30).

A man came to Jesus  and asked, “Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?” Jesus replied, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you want eternal life, keep the commandments.” “Which ones?” he inquired. Jesus replied, “You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.” “All of these things I have kept,” the young man answered. “What do I still lack?” Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give it to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” When the young man heard this, he went away

Jesus heals the little children despite the disciples’ attempts to turn them away (Matthew 19:13 – 19:15).

The people of Judea brought little children to Jesus to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples tried to turn them away. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me. Do not hinder them for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” After he placed his hands on the little children and prayed for them, he went on from there. What the story means to us today Children are the perfect picture of a true Christian Jesus tells us the kingdom of heaven belongs to those who are like children. In Matthew 18:1, Jesus explained the example that children set for Christians. Children have a kind, accepting, trusting spirit that embodies humbleness and true humility. These traits are stressed throughout the Bible

Jesus explains the acceptable reasons for divorce and what it truly means to be married (Matthew 19:1 – 19:12).

When Jesus had finished teaching about forgiveness, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan river. Large crowds followed him and he healed them there. Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?” Jesus replied, “Haven’t your read that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let no one separate.” “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that

The parable of the unforgiving servant – what god says about the extent of Christian forgiveness (Matthew 18:21 – 18:35).

Peter asked Jesus, “How many times should I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “Not seven times, but seventy-seven times. The kingdom of heaven is like the king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants. As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand bags of gold was brought to him. Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt. At this, the servant fell on his knees before him. “Be patient with me,” he begged, “and I will pay back everything.” The servant’s master took pity on him, cancelled his debt, and let him go. But

Jesus explains how to deal with sin in the church (help sinners reject sin, not push them aside) (Matthew 18:15 – 18:20).

Jesus told the disciples, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. But if they will not listen, take one or two others along so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree

The parable of the wandering sheep tells us how much God loves each and every one of his children (Matthew 18:12 – 18:14).

Jesus had  just given the disciples a lesson about the humbleness of children and how we should seek to be like little children. He went on to warn about the severe punishment for those who mistreat God’s children. Jesus asked the disciples, “What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, won’t he leave the other ninety-nine to go look for the one that wandered off? And if he finds the lost sheep, isn’t he happier about that one sheep than about the ninety-nine that did not wander off? In the same way your Father in heaven is not willing that any single one of his children should perish.” What the story means to us today Each of us is important

Jesus suggests we become like little children – and woe to those who cause a little one to stumble (Matthew 18:1 – 18:11).

The disciples went to Jesus and asked, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus called a little child to him and placed the child among them. He said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes such a child in my name welcomes me.” “If anyone causes one of these little ones, those who believe in me – to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea. Woe to the world because of the things that

To avoid offending the Pharisees, Jesus pays the temple tax (with a coin from a fish’s mouth) but offers a subtle lesson in hypocrisy (Matthew 17:24 – 17:27).

After Jesus and the disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma temple tax went to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter went into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect their taxes – from their own children or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the children are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not cause offense, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch, open its mouth, and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.” What the

Jesus heals a demon-possessed boy when the disciples lacked enough faith (Matthew 17:14 – 17:23).

When Jesus and the three disciples came to the crowd (presumably returning from atop the mountain where the disciples witnessed the transfiguration), a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. “Lord, have mercy on my son,” he said. “He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” “You unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus said to the disciples, “How long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.” Jesus rebuked the demon and it came out of the boy and he was healed instantly. Then the disciples came to Jesus in private and asked, “Why couldn’t we