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 NLT
Illustration of Matthew 18:16-17 NLT — "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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Deuteronomy 19:15
  • 1 Corinthians 5:11-13
  • 2 Corinthians 2:5-11


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.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.