ImmerseMessiah NLT - Page 356


rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away!
In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these
little ones should perish.
“If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense.
If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.
But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back
again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses. If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church.
Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s decision, treat that person as a
pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in
heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. For where two or
three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive
someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who
decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed
money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who
owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that
he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—
to pay the debt.
“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be
patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity
for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed
him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded
instant payment.
“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more
time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor
wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt
could be paid in full.
“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They
went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king
called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you
that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have
mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry
king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

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