Matthew 18 – Are We Willing to Trust God and Trust Others?

To be great in the new kingdom means to humble ourselves and have the faith of a child. 

To Jesus, those who are lost are a priority and giving grace and forgiveness is a priority. We need to forgive others more than we want to forgive them because we’ve been forgiven. 

When it comes to conflict, Jesus gives wise guidance.

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Matthew Video:

https://youtu.be/GRPGp0ViPgQ

Matthew Notes:

At a time when children were at best seen and not heard or at worst not seen as valuable human beings until they could start working or having babies that could work, Jesus points out our faith should be like a child’s faith. Children naturally trust. 

To be great in the new kingdom means to humble ourselves and have the faith of a child. 

Children are so much more valuable in the new kingdom that we should avoid causing them to stumble. 

In fact, Jesus says if one wanders off, we should leave the 99 who are safe to find the 1 who is lost.

To Jesus, those who are lost are a priority and giving grace and forgiveness is a priority as we discover at the end of the chapter. We need to forgive others more than we want to forgive them because we’ve been forgiven. 

And when it comes to conflict, Jesus gives such wise guidance.

  • If you’ve been offended then go to the person directly.
  • We aren’t to talk about the person who offended us to others but give him or her a chance to apologize, explain, or make things right.
  • If that doesn’t work, involve another person who likes both of you.
  • If that doesn’t work, get the collective wisdom of leaders following Jesus.
  • If that doesn’t work then you treat them as you would a pagan or tax collector.
  • Some see that as a verse about excommunication, but how did Jesus treat pagans and tax collectors – as those needing extra grace to be won over into the Kingdom.
  • This offending person shouldn’t be leading or in any sort of position of authority because he or she isn’t responsive to others. We should assume they aren’t actually following Jesus so we seek to help them get to that place.

Are you causing someone to stumble? Have you offended someone or been offended by someone? Have you given them the chance to explain what they meant by what they said or did? It may not be what you think!

How does God want you to apply today?

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