“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
If another disciple sins against me, I should go privately and point out the offence. If this does not bring reconciliation, I should seek the help of another believer, and when all else fails take it to the whole church.
The sins we forgive on earth are forgiven in heaven. The sins we hold on to will also be held in heaven.
Whenever we meet together and pray in agreement, Jesus is with us and the Father will hear us.
I am often amazed at Jesus’ commitment to unity in the church and our lack of interest in the same topic.
We often approach the Matthew 18 process as a means of punishment rather than a means of genuine reconciliation. What Jesus is getting at here is not so much a pathway to justice as a pathway for forgiveness.
Is this issue that offended me important enough to confront, or should I just let go of it? Do I want to escalate the conflict or will I forgive? Is this really important enough to take to the whole congregation or will I be called out for lacking grace?
When a brother/sister offends me and I can meet with him/her and pray with them with one heart, isn’t that the prayer that moves the Father?
This passage is not just about getting our prayers answered. It is about pursuing love in the church.
Lord forgive me for holding on to petty offences and raising my imagined right to be offended above your command to forgive. Amen.