Sunday, September 4, 2011

Matthew 18:15-20 We are called to keep our friends out of trouble

Jesus said to his disciples:
"If your brother sins against you,
go and tell him his fault between you and him alone.
If he listens to you, you have won over your brother.
If he does not listen,
take one or two others along with you,
so that 'every fact may be established
on the testimony of two or three witnesses.'
If he refuses to listen to them, tell the church.
If he refuses to listen even to the church,
then treat him as you would a Gentile or a tax collector.
Amen, I say to you,
whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,
and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
Again, amen, I say to you,
if two of you agree on earth
about anything for which they are to pray,
it shall be granted to them by my heavenly Father.
For where two or three are gathered together in my name,
there am I in the midst of them."

This passage reminds us that we are accountable to our friends. Here Jesus is reminding us that we have a duty to help our friends stay out of trouble. If we knowingly consent, we are just as guilty. This is important because we are also reminded in the gospel that we are all friends in the Kingdom of God. So this passage can be extended to include all humanity making us accountable for the sufferings of others. This passage is not about being boastful and lashing out at others to satisfy our pride, it is simply a reminder that we are obligated to ensure our fellow neighbour has support to break any vice that grips them.

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