The Lord Jesus speaks some powerful wisdom on godly character and unity in Mathew 18. His sequence of statements builds upon each other and should be meditated on. What He says in verse 3 through 17 builds up to what He says in verses 18-20. Matthew 18:18-20 read:
18) "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. 19) "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20) For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."
You will probably remember that what He says in verse 18 (about binding and loosing) is from what He spoke to Peter in Mathew chapter 16. When you first read this verse in chapter 18, it doesn't seem to fit… Why is Jesus saying this statement here again? I believe He is stating this awesome promise in a different context so we will more fully understand how we will see it come to pass in its fullness. Let’s go back and look at when Jesus gave this promise the first time in Matthew 16:18-19.
He said, “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. 19) And I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
He gives the promise in verse 19, but notice how it is prefaced in verse 18. He says, “On this rock I will build My church.” The real promise of seeing darkness bound and all God’s kingdom loosed in the earth isn’t through some “superman” but it happens through a united church that Jesus has built. This is why He gives the promise again in Matthew 18:18; the church needs to do what Jesus said to do in Matthew chapter 18, verses 3-17 to see it come to pass. This is why He continues in Matthew 18:19 "Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” Then in verse 20 He says, “where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." Jesus Christ is building His church without divisions and without schisms and through prayer, the power of the kingdom of heaven will be released into the earth. The fullness of God's kingdom is released in the context of a unified praying church like we see in the beginning of the book of Acts.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan