How do treat someone who sinned against you?
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector."
Remember how in yesterdays devotional I said I would explain what "let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector" means in this passage of scripture. Let's jump into it.
The gospels describe two types of relationship that followers of Jesus had with tax-collectors and Gentiles. The gospels describe a relationship with a repentant tax-collector and Gentile and an unrepentant tax-collector and Gentile. We need to determine the type of tax-collector and Gentile Jesus is referring to in Matthew 18:17.
The tax-collector and Gentile referred to in Matthew 18:17 is unrepentant. He refused to admit or repent of his sin against an individual when confronted by the individual, by two or three witnesses of the sin and by an entire community of believers.
How did Jesus relate to unrepentant tax-collectors and Gentiles?
Jesus proclaimed justice to the Gentiles, was a light of revelation to the Gentiles, prayed for the Gentiles, commanded us to make disciples of all Gentiles (nations), and called for repentance and forgiveness of sin to be proclaimed to the Gentiles (Matthew 10:18; 12:18-21; 28:19; Mark 11:17; Luke 2:32; 24:47). Jesus linked the tax-collectors with the Gentiles in Matthew 18:17, so we can correctly say He related to unrepentant tax-collectors the same way He related to unrepentant Gentiles.
How do we treat a person who does not repent of his sin against us, even after confronted by an entire local community of believers? We are to treat them as Jesus treated unrepentant tax-collectors and Gentiles. We are to proclaim justice to them, be a light of revelation to them (Matthew 5:16), pray for them, seek to make them a disciple of Jesus, and proclaim to them repentance and the forgiveness of sin.
What sins do we consider addressing when following the commands of Matthew 18:15-17? All sin. If we obey Jesus' instruction in Matthew 18:15-17 we will have a healthy Body of Christ. Start following the example of Jesus today. Love people.
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Three key questions to ask as we prayerfully read the scriptures: