Date: 2023-Aug-06

(Ninth Sunday after Trinity)


TEXT: Matthew 18:1-16(NKJV)

18:1. At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

18:2. Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them,

18:3. and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

18:4. "Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

18:5. "Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

18:6. " But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.

18:7. "Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!

18:8. "If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast [it] from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire.

18:9. "And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast [it] from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

18:10. " Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven.

18:11. "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

18:12. "What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying?

18:13. "And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that [sheep] than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray.

18:14. "Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

18:15. " Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.

18:16. "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.'

STUDY: Here, Jesus sets forth the method of restoring or disciplining a professing Christian who sins against fellow Christian. Reconciliation is the goal of Jesus' instruction and to neglect this instruction will bring spiritual compromise to the body of Christ. Approaching the offender in private would avoid bringing shame on that person. It also would minimise the opportunity for misunderstanding and gossip. If the offender listens, Christ instructs that he or she must be forgiven. If the offender refuses to listen to his fellow Christian whom he has offended, the defender should take one or two other Christians with him or her to approach the offender. These two other brethren become witnesses of the efforts to resolve the issue.

Today, some Christians instead of following the instructions of Jesus Christ in handling a fellow Christian's offence, go about spreading the offence to others and trying to damage the image of the offender. In this way, they go contrary to the instruction of Christ. If you feel that someone has wronged you, go and tell him or her, their offence. This will bring about reconciliation. Christian kindness and forgiveness do not mean that a person who is in error is to be allowed to do as he or she likes. Such a person must be guided and corrected.

PRAYER: Grant me grace O God to seek reconciliation with anyone who offends me, in Jesus' name. Amen.

Previous Post Next Post