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Matthew 18:15-20 Gives Us Much to Think About for Our Daily Lives
Matthew 18:15-20 gives us much to think about for our daily lives. To meditate on these five verses alone is worthy of a lifetime. These few verses deal with the nitty-gritty of everyday life and they end with a statement that fills us with hope. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them” (Matthew 18:20). These are indeed encouraging and consoling words to us. I think of these words when my wife and I pray together each evening. God, of course, is always present to us, always has each one of us in mind, but when we gather together as two or three, to pray, to focus all of our attention on God, he makes himself intensely and personally present to us. He is there. He is in the room with us, listening and praying with us. This is quite a thought. It is a fitting conclusion to this section of verses, for without prayer, that is, an attitude of humility before God, the admonitions that precede it would be impossible. In the verses before verse 20, Jesus tells us what to do if a brother or sister sins against us and gives three very practical steps to handle the situation. If we try all three of these steps and the person who has sinned against us will still not listen, then he or she has made a choice and we must leave him or her with it. We will have done what God asks of us. We will have done all we could do (verses 15-17). He follows these comments with a deeper, even more important insight about our duty to forgive. He says, “Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,…