The Brothers Fear Joseph
15 After Jacob died, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph is still angry with us? We did many wrong things to him. What if he plans to pay us back?” 16 So they sent a message to Joseph. It said, “Your father gave this command before he died. 17 He said to us, ‘You have done wrong. You have sinned and done evil to Joseph. Tell Joseph to forgive you, his brothers.’ So now, Joseph, we beg you to forgive our wrong. We are the servants of the God of your father.” When Joseph received the message, he cried.
18 And his brothers went to him and bowed low before him. They said, “We are your slaves.”
19 Then Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Can I do what only God can do? 20 You meant to hurt me. But God turned your evil into good. It was to save the lives of many people. And it is being done. 21 So don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So Joseph comforted his brothers and spoke kind words to them.
Do Not Criticize Other People
14 Do not refuse to accept into your group someone who is weak in faith. And do not argue with him about opinions. 2 One person believes that he can eat all kinds of food.[a] But if another man’s faith is weak, then he believes he can eat only vegetables. 3 The one who knows that he can eat any kind of food must not feel that he is better than the one who eats only vegetables. And the person who eats only vegetables must not think that the one who eats all foods is wrong. God has accepted him. 4 You cannot judge another man’s servant. His own master decides if he is doing well or not. And the Lord’s servant will do well because the Lord helps him do well.
5 One person thinks that one day is more important than another. And someone else thinks that every day is the same. Each one should be sure in his own mind. 6 The person who thinks one day is more important than other days is doing that for the Lord. And the one who eats all kinds of food is doing that for the Lord. Yes, he gives thanks to God for that food. And the man who refuses to eat some foods does that for the Lord, and he gives thanks to God. 7 For we do not live or die for ourselves. 8 If we live, we are living for the Lord. And if we die, we are dying for the Lord. So living or dying, we belong to the Lord.
9 That is why Christ died and rose from death to live again. He did this so that he would be Lord over both the dead and the living. 10 So why do you judge your brother in Christ? And why do you think that you are better than he is? We will all stand before God, and he will judge us all. 11 Yes, it is written in the Scriptures:
“Everyone will bow before me;
everyone will say that I am God.
As surely as I live, these things will happen, says the Lord.” Isaiah 45:23
12 So each of us will have to answer to God for what he has done.
An Unforgiving Servant
21 Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, when my brother sins against me, how many times must I forgive him? Should I forgive him as many as 7 times?”
22 Jesus answered, “I tell you, you must forgive him more than 7 times. You must forgive him even if he does wrong to you 70 times 7.
23 “The kingdom of heaven is like a king who decided to collect the money his servants owed him. 24 So the king began to collect his money. One servant owed him several million dollars. 25 But the servant did not have enough money to pay his master, the king. So the master ordered that everything the servant owned should be sold, even the servant’s wife and children. The money would be used to pay the king what the servant owed.
26 “But the servant fell on his knees and begged, ‘Be patient with me. I will pay you everything I owe.’ 27 The master felt sorry for his servant. So the master told the servant he did not have to pay. He let the servant go free.
28 “Later, that same servant found another servant who owed him a few dollars. The servant grabbed the other servant around the neck and said, ‘Pay me the money you owe me!’
29 “The other servant fell on his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me. I will pay you everything I owe.’
30 “But the first servant refused to be patient. He threw the other servant into prison until he could pay everything he owed. 31 All the other servants saw what happened. They were very sorry. So they went and told their master all that had happened.
32 “Then the master called his servant in and said, ‘You evil servant! You begged me to forget what you owed. So I told you that you did not have to pay anything. 33 I had mercy on you. You should have had the same mercy on that other servant.’ 34 The master was very angry, and he put the servant in prison to be punished. The servant had to stay in prison until he could pay everything he owed.
35 “This king did what my heavenly Father will do to you if you do not forgive your brother from your heart.”