Passage: Matthew 17, 18, 19 (RSV)

Matthew 17

1And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain apart.
2And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his garments became white as light.
3And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Eli'jah, talking with him.
4And Peter said to Jesus, "Lord, it is well that we are here; if you wish, I will make three booths here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Eli'jah."
5He was still speaking, when lo, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him."
6When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces, and were filled with awe.
7But Jesus came and touched them, saying, "Rise, and have no fear."
8And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
9And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, "Tell no one the vision, until the Son of man is raised from the dead."
10And the disciples asked him, "Then why do the scribes say that first Eli'jah must come?"
11He replied, "Eli'jah does come, and he is to restore all things;
12but I tell you that Eli'jah has already come, and they did not know him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of man will suffer at their hands."
13Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.
14And when they came to the crowd, a man came up to him and kneeling before him said,
15"Lord, have mercy on my son, for he is an epileptic and he suffers terribly; for often he falls into the fire, and often into the water.
16And I brought him to your disciples, and they could not heal him."
17And Jesus answered, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long am I to be with you? How long am I to bear with you? Bring him here to me."
18And Jesus rebuked him, and the demon came out of him, and the boy was cured instantly.
19Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not cast it out?"
20He said to them, "Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, `Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you."
22As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of man is to be delivered into the hands of men,
23and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day." And they were greatly distressed.
24When they came to Caper'na-um, the collectors of the half-shekel tax went up to Peter and said, "Does not your teacher pay the tax?"
25He said, "Yes." And when he came home, Jesus spoke to him first, saying, "What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their sons or from others?"
26And when he said, "From others," Jesus said to him, "Then the sons are free.
27However, not to give offense to them, go to the sea and cast a hook, and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel; take that and give it to them for me and for yourself."

Matthew 18

1At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"
2And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them,
3and said, "Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.
4Whoever humbles himself like this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5"Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me;
6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
7"Woe to the world for temptations to sin! For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the man by whom the temptation comes!
8And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life maimed or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire.
9And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away; it is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire.
10"See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven.
12What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the mountains and go in search of the one that went astray?
13And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray.
14So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
15"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
16But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
17If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.
18Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
20For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
21Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?"
22Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
23"Therefore the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his servants.
24When he began the reckoning, one was brought to him who owed him ten thousand talents;
25and as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, with his wife and children and all that he had, and payment to be made.
26So the servant fell on his knees, imploring him, `Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.'
27And out of pity for him the lord of that servant released him and forgave him the debt.
28But that same servant, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat he said, `Pay what you owe.'
29So his fellow servant fell down and besought him, `Have patience with me, and I will pay you.'
30He refused and went and put him in prison till he should pay the debt.
31When his fellow servants saw what had taken place, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place.
32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, `You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you besought me;
33and should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?'
34And in anger his lord delivered him to the jailers, till he should pay all his debt.
35So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

Matthew 19

1Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan;
2and large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
3And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, "Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?"
4He answered, "Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,
5and said, `For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?
6So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder."
7They said to him, "Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce, and to put her away?"
8He said to them, "For your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so.
9And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery."
10The disciples said to him, "If such is the case of a man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry."
11But he said to them, "Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given.
12For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it."
13Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people;
14but Jesus said, "Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven."
15And he laid his hands on them and went away.
16And behold, one came up to him, saying, "Teacher, what good deed must I do, to have eternal life?"
17And he said to him, "Why do you ask me about what is good? One there is who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments."
18He said to him, "Which?" And Jesus said, "You shall not kill, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness,
19Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
20The young man said to him, "All these I have observed; what do I still lack?"
21Jesus said to him, "If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me."
22When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful; for he had great possessions.
23And Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, it will be hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
25When the disciples heard this they were greatly astonished, saying, "Who then can be saved?"
26But Jesus looked at them and said to them, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."
27Then Peter said in reply, "Lo, we have left everything and followed you. What then shall we have?"
28Jesus said to them, "Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of man shall sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
29And every one who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my name's sake, will receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.
30But many that are first will be last, and the last first.

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