Matthew 18

15 “If a brother or sister sins, [a] go and point out the fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over. 16 But if they will not listen, take one or two others along, so that ‘every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.’ [b] 17 If they still refuse to listen, tell it to the church; and if they refuse to listen even to the church, treat them as you would a pagan or a tax collector. 

18 “Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be [c] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be [d] loosed in heaven.

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

This commentary   says that the “two of you” in verse 19 refers specifically to the two witnesses in v.16 – therefore to praying about church discipline – but that seems a bit of a stretch to me.

Was verse 19 meant to apply only to the apostles? I can think of many times that more than one person has agreed upon what to ask God for, and the answer was still no. I have wondered if it is a translation issue, but I compared different translations on Bible Gateway and they all seem to say the same thing….. puzzling.

Comments on: "This has always puzzled me…." (1)

  1. Not saying that I have an answer to this one, though sometimes I wonder whether we have the faith to beleive what is written.

    The thing is, it’s not a one way line, it’s a circle, in that two or three ‘come together in my name’ – that is to say we come together in the Fathers heart, walking with Him and thinking thoughts after Him. When we are in that kind of union we aren’t asking independently from Him, we are doing as Jesus did – i.e. ‘I can only do what I see my Father doing’.

    To pull more out of the circle analogy, I think Jesus is also saying hey, it’s not just ‘you and God’ – you need to come together as the body of Christ to pray in this way – i.e. we need each other too. The mystery of communion, I guess.

    Just my 2p worth….

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