Matthew 18:1-20— True greatness is not self-sufficient strength, but humility like that of a little child. The greatness of child-like faith receives all good things as gracious gifts from our Father in heaven. Apart from such faith, “you will never enter the kingdom of heaven,” but whoever is humbled like a little child will be “the greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 18:3–4). Though in our sin we deserve to be “drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt. 18:6), we have instead been drowned (“buried”) with Christ in Baptism and then raised to the new, humble life of a child of God.
Since we have been reconciled to God through Christ Jesus, the Christian life is one that strives for reconciliation with our fellow man. If our brother sins against us, we will try to restore him privately.
Jesus says “you” in verse 15. Who is “you?” You may be an individual Christian or “you” may refer to a gathering of Christians namely the Church. It is worthy to note that this passage does not deal with the one who sinned but with the victim of sin. He who is sinned against is to take the initiative to get the matter settled. One who thinks the guilty one ought to settle accounts, but the sinner may not consider himself to be in the wrong. The victim is to show the sinner what harm he has done and an understanding needs to be reached that the Christian fellowship may not be disrupted by personal tensions.
Reconciliation takes effort and sometimes struggle. You need to ask yourself is there a rift between myself and someone else? What is the cause of this tension? Am I culpable? Am I willing to take the first step towards reconciliation? If it is to be will it be me?
In your prayers today read through Psalm 130. May this prayer guide you throughout the day.
Prayer for Psalm 130: God of might and compassion, you sent your Word into the world as a watchman to announce the dawn of salvation. Do not leave us in the depths of our sins, but listen to your Church pleading for the fullness of your redeeming grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Psalm 130, For All the Saints, A Prayer Book For and By the Church Vol.II American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, © 1995 Delhi, NY
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