Mat 18:18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven. Mat 18:19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you. Mat 18:20 For where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.”
This is a promise from Jesus to his disciples. This is the summation statement to His answering of the question; “Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven”. Jesus has just used parables and examples to describe a person that is the greatest. Let’s take a quick look at the biblical characteristics of “The Greatest”.
“..turn from your sins..” [Matt 18:3]
“.. become like little children..” [Matt 18:3]
“..humble as this little child..” [Matt 18:4]
“..welcomes a little child..” [Matt 18:5]
“..cut it off..” (what you do to something causing sin in your life) [Matt 18:8]
“..gouge it out..” (what you do to something you see causing sin in your life) [Matt 18:9]
“..search for the one that is lost.” [Matt 18:12]
“..rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away!” [Matt 18:13]
“..go privately and point out the offense.” [Matt 18:15]
“..win(s) that person back.” [Matt 18:15]
“..(take) witnesses with you and go back again..” [Matt 18:15]
“..take your case to the church (body of Christ) [Matt 18:17]
“..treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.” [Matt 18:17]
*Please refer to the lost sheep in Matthew 18:12 for a definition of how a pagan or corrupt tax collector should be treated.
They would not…
“..cause one of these little ones who trusts Me to fall into sin..” [Matt 18:6]
“..tempt people to sin..” [Matt 18:7]
“.. look down on little ones..” [Matt 18:10]
“..have the will that even one of these little ones should perish..”[Matt 18:14]
Now that He has established the characteristics of the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven, a kingdom that is already here on earth, Jesus is going to tell us what He has in store for those who are greatest. Please note that He doesn’t just randomly give this power for no reason. This power from heaven is given to those who are greatest.
“I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” [Matthew 18:18]
Wow! That’s quite a lot of power. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t want someone who was NOT the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven to have that kind of power and authority. It sure is a good thing that Jesus has clearly laid out for us who the greatest are, otherwise I might be tempted to give this kind of authority to people who would misuse it. I might be tempted to give it to someone who was charismatic, smooth talking, self important, boisterous, demanding, self righteous, good looking, charming, rich, powerful, influential or any of the other worldly traits I am so easily attracted to.
“I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, My Father in heaven will do it for you”.[Matthew 18:19]
Wait a minute! There’s even more power being handed out. I love it. Oh, but… but now He says I have to involve someone else to receive this power. Hmmmm…this complicates things a bit. Maybe Jesus is saying this so that I will be careful to ask for things that would be acceptable to the body of Christ. Maybe He wants me to discuss requests for the Father in Heaven with other parts of the body of Christ, like in church, a prayer meeting or a small group study. I know that I can’t always trust my wants and desires. Thank You Jesus for Your amazing wisdom!
“For where two or three gather together as My followers, I am there among them.” [Matthew 18:20]
Okay, now He’s really driving home the point. He’s making a beautiful promise to us here. Notice that he culminates the whole teaching into the one statement. If we gather together as His followers, He will be with us. We can count on Him to be there guiding us, protecting us, giving us what we need and showing us where to go. But we must be gathered together as His followers…as the Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.
…if only we knew what those people looked like…. :)
Thank You so much for the wisdom and understanding You bring into my life. What a blessing to be able to study Your Word and know that it is good and wise and powerful; not only because You said it is, but because it proves itself to be just that. Thank You for what You did for me on the cross. I accept it and I will walk in faith today knowing that I am saved by You. You are Wonderful. You are an Amazing God! I love You so much!! I ask that You would come into me today so that You can shine out of me. I ask for the Holy Spirit.
I ask You now to please watch over my children. Heal my son Lord and continue to pursue my children. I love them both very much and I know that You love them even more. I ask all these things in the Name of Jesus. Amen.