What Jesus Did! 'Even When Done to Us!' — Matthew 18:16-17

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"But if that person refuses to listen, then go to him again and bring one or two people with you. Then there will be two or three other people that will be able to tell all that happened. If that person refuses to listen to them, then tell the church (group of believers). If that person refuses to listen to the church, then treat him like he is a person that does not believe in God. Treat him like he is a tax collector."
— Matthew 18:16-17
Illustration of Matthew 18:16-17 — "But if that person refuses to listen, then go to him again and bring one or two people with you."

Key Thought

The old line about education in the U.S. was that we need to focus on the 3 R's—reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic. In church discipline, the focus needs to be on God's 3 R's—repentance, redemption, and reconciliation. The first has to do with the sinner's response, the next is God's gracious action, and the third is the work of the church community.
However, in most Western cultures today, the problem is not with our receiving back those who have rebelled; the problem is that we don't know each other well enough to help in times of temptation, confront in times of sin, and care enough to discipline when rebellion is destroying lives. The world does not understand because it does not hold to values of Christian character. But it is more than a character battle among God's children; it's a battle for people themselves. Jesus' words are harsh, but no harsher than the behavior of someone who repeatedly refuses to listen to God's call in his or her life. Jesus loved the lost lamb. Can we do less?

Today's Prayer

Father, heavy on my heart today are several people who have rebelled against your will and have hurt the people around them. Please give me the opportunity and the courage to reach out and be your tool of redemption to bring them back to your family and your grace. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

"If your brother or sister does something wrong to you, go and tell that person what he did wrong. Do this alone with that person. If that person listens to you, then you have helped that person to be your brother again. But if that person refuses to listen, then go to him again and bring one or two people with you. Then there will be two or three other people that will be able to tell all that happened. If that person refuses to listen to them, then tell the church (group of believers). If that person refuses to listen to the church, then treat him like he is a person that does not believe in God. Treat him like he is a tax collector. "I tell you the truth. When you speak judgment here on earth, that judgment will be God's judgment. When you promise forgiveness here on earth, that forgiveness will be God's forgiveness. "Also, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about something, then you can pray for it. And the thing you ask for will be done for you by my Father in heaven. This is true, because if two or three people are together believing in me, I am there with them."

Matthew 18:15-20

Related Scripture Readings

"If a person is accused of doing something against the law, one witness is not enough to prove that the person is guilty. There must be two or three witnesses to prove that the person really did wrong.

Deuteronomy 19:15

I am writing to tell you that the person you must not associate with is this: any person that calls himself a brother in Christ but sins sexually, or is greedy, or worships idols, or talks bad to people, or gets drunk, or cheats people. Don't even eat with a person like that. It is not my business to judge those people that are not part of the church (group of believers). God will judge those people. But you must judge the people that are part of the church. The Scriptures say, "Take the evil person out of your group."

1 Corinthians 5:11-13

A person {in your group} has caused sadness. He caused this sadness not to me, but to all of you—I mean he caused sadness to all in some way. (I don't want to make it sound worse than it really is.) The punishment that most of your group gave him is enough for him. But now you should forgive him and encourage him. This will keep him from having too much sadness and giving up completely. So I beg you to show him that you love him. This is why I wrote to you. I wanted to test you and see if you obey in everything. If you forgive a person, then I also forgive that person. And what I have forgiven—if I had anything to forgive—I forgave it for you, and Christ was with me. I did this so that Satan (the Devil) would not win anything from us. We know very well what Satan's plans are.

2 Corinthians 2:5-11

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.