Speaker: Jerry Cisar
Matthew 18 is the so-called chapter on “church discipline,” though that may be a bit misleading. R. T. France notes that, “Within such a community [of Jesus followers] there is opportunity both to harm and to care for others, and the health and effectiveness of the group will depend on the attitudes toward one another that are fostered.”
This chapter is less about procedure than the heart that needs to drive the process. It is less about church discipline than it is about forgiveness and relationship. Less about removing people from the church, and more about pursuing the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
If one goes to this chapter looking to deal with someone’s sin, they will not get the results Jesus intends. But if one goes to this chapter looking to reconcile with one’s brother or sister, one might well find the relationships God intends.
Matthew 18 is about a kingdom culture that must prevail. Merely following the process outlined in this chapter won’t solve every relationship problem. Following the heart of the chapter will, even if we get some of the processes wrong.