For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20 NABRE
Jesus is teaching His disciples about community and the type of community He is creating. Jesus is establishing a community whose members are gathered around Jesus as brothers and sisters with the same heavenly Father. In this community the members are called to be humble, avoid personal sin and scandalizing others, they seek the lost, and forgive those who harm them. Disciples who relate to one another in this way will live with Christ in His kingdom. In the section with the quoted verse Jesus is teaching about the appropriate manner to confront a community member who sins. First speak directly to the member, if they don’t listen then bring other members of the community to address the sin with the member, if the member still refuses to listen then bring the matter to the church. If the church can’t help the member to repent their sin it can be held against them. If the sin is unforgiven on earth, the sin will remain unforgiven in heaven. Jesus explains that when two or more gather and pray in His name, He is present. In essence the disciples’ prayer becomes Jesus’ prayer, which will be answered by the Father. While this outcome seems negative the hope is to give sinners many chances to recognize their sin and repent, thus the lost are found.
Praying as a church, Jesus will pray with us and speak to his heavenly Father to respond to our prayer. Christ’s presence among followers recalls the title Emmanuel (God with us) and has Him live up to the promise that he will be with his disciples to the close of the age (Matthew 28:20) With Jesus in our midst, forming the most appropriate prayer is assisted.
Are you aware of Jesus presence in your prayer? Do you need a prayer partner?Jesus explains that when two or more gather and pray in His name, He is present. In essence the disciples’ prayer becomes Jesus’ prayer, which will be answered by the Father. Click To Tweet
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