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

The Transfiguration – Jesus transforms into radiant light and reveals John the Baptist as the Old Testament prophet, Elijah (Matthew 17:1 – 17:13).

After six days, Jesus took Peter, James, and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light. Then there appeared before him Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was speaking, a bright cloud covered them and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified.

Jesus predicts his death for the first time and commands we turn from worldly ways (Matthew 16:21 – 16:28)

After Peter suggested Jesus was the Messiah, Jesus began to explain to the disciples that he must go to Jerusalem where he would suffer many things at the hands of the elders, priests, and teachers of the law. He revealed that he must be killed and on the third day he would be raised to life. Peter took Jesus aside and argued, “Never, Lord!” he said. “This will never happen to you!” Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me. You do not have the concerns of God in mind, but merely human concerns.” Then Jesus told the disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save

Peter reveals Jesus is the Messiah and is given the keys to the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 16:13 – 16:20).

When  Jesus arrived in the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But what about you?” he asked, “Who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on