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(08-09-07) Reconciliation - Ezekiel 33.7-11; Romans 13.8-14; Matthew 18.15-20

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Reconciliation – Ezekiel 33:7-11;

Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20

·      Things that are lost in translation

o  maybe some of Jesus’ emphases are lost to us

§  at least at first glance

·      Being part of the Anglican Communion

o  many feel standing our ground is of great importance

§  using this passage to support this

o  I believe Jesus is encouraging us to seek humility

§  especially at times like this

This is what I believe God is saying to us, today through this passage

But disagreement and discussion is always welcome!

·      Destructive potential of arguments

o  hurt feelings damage relationships

§  especially when left to brood

o  Jesus’ prayer that we should be one

§  love one another – to show God’s love and glory

o  the history of the Church is hugely inconsistent

§  great things have been done

·      communities of love, faith, worship and justice

§  awful things have been done

·      lives destroyed

·      God’s Name desecrated

o  because we find it very difficult to deal with being wrong

§  the reality

§  the potential

·      Jesus calls us to reconciliation

o  in community, in family

·      Firstly, a very practical method of dealing with dispute

o  meeting one to one (v15)

§  don’t let it simmer

§  don’t pretend it doesn’t matter if it does

§  don’t send your message through others

·      unless communication is impossible

o  meeting with mutual friends (v16a)

§  not just those who will back you to the hilt

§  objectivity is essential

·      witnesses in Jewish Law (v16b)

o  then to the community (v17a)

§  it takes great stubbornness to persist in front of your family

·      And if that doesn’t work? (v17b)

o  “treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

§  lost in translation?

§  what did Matthew think of this verse?

o  many, in exasperation, turn to this verse for relief

§  casting out those who have hurt us to save ourselves

§  leaving them to their sin, their mistakes, their mess

o  but here, Jesus’ radical Gospel of Love can be seen again

“Love your neighbour as yourself. 10Love does no harm to its neighbour.” (Romans 13:9b-10a)

§  how would we treat them?

§  how would He treat them?

§  how should we treat them?

·      eat with them

·      be gracious to them

·      show them God’s mercy, forgiveness and grace

o  all part of one body

·      What comes next?

o  the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

·      Being part of the body is not a passport to an easy life

o  disagreements & reconciliation are difficult and painful

§  and we are given enormous responsibility (v18)

o  so Jesus’ words of reassurance that He is with us are welcome

§  with us as judge and guide

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