Matthew 18:5-14

A. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

B. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

C. 7 Woe unto the world because of offences!

D. for it must needs be that offences come;

C’. but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

B’. 8 Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. 9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

A’/A. 10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones;

B. for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.

C. 11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.

D. 12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray,

E. doth he not leave the ninety and nine,

D. and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?

C’. 13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.

B’. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven,

A’. that one of these little ones should perish.

2 thoughts on “Matthew 18:5-14”

  1. Luke 17:1-4 is a summary of Jesus’ teaching here in Matthew 18:5-35. It’s very interesting that Luke 17:1-2, the points Jesus makes work from the centre of the first chiasm here…
    “It is impossible but that offences will come [D]: but woe unto him, through whom they come [C’]! It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend [B’] one of these little ones.” [A’].

    It’s also worth noting that Jesus’ next point in Luke 17, verses 3-4, pick up on the beginning and end of the chiasm from Matthew 18:15-21. “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee [A], rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day [A’], and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”

    Surely a good reason for us to keep looking at the structure of scripture to better understand the points being made.

  2. This is very interesting. It looks like we could describe this as an example of an inverted quotation, i.e. Luke is quoting Matthew.

    Matt 18:6
    A. But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me,

    B. it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

    C. … for it must needs be that offences come;
    but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!

    Luke 17:1
    C’. It is impossible but that offences will come:
    but woe unto him, through whom they come!

    B’. 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea,

    A’. than that he should offend one of these little ones.

    In the light of this I should edit the current proposal.

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