Conflict may happen everywhere in any human community. And unresolved conflicts are even in church and family life. How can we reconcile with one another and restore a loving relationship?
1. Context of the story
- Jesus is talking about sin against people not God.-
- Things to consider: What is the purpose of confrontation? V15 “If they don’t listen..”-
- In many cases, we try to win over to prove “I am right and you are wrong.”-
- Translations matter: NRSV – if the member listen to you “you have gained that person”, Message – “You’ve made a friend.”-
- How are we doing on this matter? Discerning God’s will and restore the loving relationship or Creating my version of the story and keep telling other until I win?
2. The way Jesus approaches
- It’s different than the word does in judicial system-
- First step: In private conversation. / Most of conflicts can be resolved in this first step, yet it is so common people skip this.-
- Second step: take witnesses. / The purpose of bringing witnesses is not share a stone to throw but for the reconciliation to regain that person.
3. Misunderstanding of teaching: “Treating them as a gentile and a tax collector
- Cultural hatred toward Gentiles and Tax collectors who were working for the Roman Empire.-
- Jesus was willing to be a friend of them.-
- The main point of Jesus’ teaching: his care for God’s church – his people.-
- An example of Zacchaeus: What made the transformation of Zacchaeus?
4. A Q to ponder: How are we following Jesus?
- The way I want to follow?- The way we want to follow?- OR the way Jesus taught us and did?-
- The way Jesus did is challenging us today.-
- But the Good News is when we treat other like how Jesus did to Gentiles and Tax collectors, we may encounter Jesus. Because Jesus is with them and for them.
5. Peaceful and Loving Relationship with Everyone
- But we may be in conflict from time to time, and confrontation is not favorable for many of us.-
- The Great News is God knows it’s not easy and promised in V19. –
- In here, “anything” is not a blank check for everything. / In Greek, PRAGMA, which means legal terminology of matter. / It means God knows it’s difficult to agree in dispute. That’s why Jesus promises in v 20. “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there with them.”-
- Is anyone who has disturbed heart in relationship?”-
- Shall we take it as an opportunity to experience God’s love and grace while walking in love and pray together?