Who is the Greatest?
Jesus' disciples ask him who is the best in the kingdom of heaven. He says the one who is as humble as a child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
Encouraging humility, I like that.
Temptations to Sin
Jesus says it is necessary for there to be temptations to sin. He says if your eye causes you to sin cut it out for "it is better to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell of fire."
This is interesting, it relates to a conversation I was just having in the comments of Matthew 4 about Satan. This passage does not say why there is a necessity for temptations for sin, but at least it acknowledges it. Also, there is some language that I found interesting (and highlighted). It contrasts being thrown to hell with "entering life". This seems to me to imply that the afterlife is the beginning. This could lead someone to think that this life does not matter, which seems like a bad thing to me. Is there a different explanation of this language?
The Parable of the Lost Sheep
I assume "little one" in this passage is referring to children
If a child is straying from God, you should spend time to bring him back. Just like a shepherd would leave 99 sheep on a mountain to go find a lost one.
If Your Brother Sins Against You
If your brother sins against you, first talk with him just the two of you. If that doesn't work, bring a few friends and detail the charges. If he still does not listen turn him in to the church. If he still does not listen treat him as a Gentile. "whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven"
I quoted that because I remember that phrase coming up before. At the time I thought it seemed to be in conflict the the idea of setting up treasures in heaven, but here it does not seem that way at all. This seems to be talking about setting up relationships here on earth and those being in heaven. It makes more sense to me here.
"If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my father in heaven."
This sounds like it is saying if any two people pray for the same thing it will come true. Is there a different interpretation of this? Because it is clearly false, otherwise every team would win every sports game :)
The Parable of the Unforgiving Servant
Peter asked Jesus how many times he should forgive a brother who sinned against him, suggesting 7 times. Jesus replied 70 * 7 times.
I'm guessing it was said in this way because he was saying, forgive him as much as possible. It's not supposed to be counting up to a really high number, but rather to keep forgiving forever. I'm assuming he is not actually suggesting to forgive 490 times :)
Jesus then tells the story of a king who releases a servant of a very large debt. The servant then goes out and find another poor person who owes him some money and insists he pays up and gets him put in jail since he can't pay. After hearing about this, the king is pissed because the servant should have had mercy in the same way mercy was had on him. (Is this grammar right? It sounds odd but I don't know how to fix it)
Pay it forward, I like it.