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Matthew 18:18-20 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Authority of Two or Three

Matthew 18:18-20 – The Authority of Two or Three

MT18:18 “I tell you[1] [apostles] this truth: Whatever you [apostles] bind on earth will be bound in heaven,[2] and whatever you release[3] on earth will be released in heaven. MT18:19 Again, I tell you [apostles][4] this truth: If two of you might agree about a matter on earth[5] it will occur just as you request[6] because of my heavenly Father. MT18:20 For where ever two or three of you are gathered together[7] in my name,[8] there I am among them.”[9]

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[1] I tell you: The “you” is plural and indicates Jesus is speaking to the apostles. What follows is directed to these disciples and not necessarily a blanket statement regarding all Christians.

[2] Bind on earth will be bound in heaven: The phrase may involve the sin of the brother under discussion. If two or three (of the apostles) agree on a certain action against a wrongdoer, then it becomes so. An example of binding something on earth might be the appointment of Matthias to take the office of Judas (Acts 1:23-26). The Greek grammar may allow, “already bound.. already loosed.”

[3] Whatever you release: The Greek is LYSETE and may be rendered “loose.” The idea may infer forgiveness. Compare notes on Matthew 16:19. There the context deals with the Peter’s keys. If these be viewed as three and relate to the Jews, Samaritans, and Non-Jews, then as long as the door to the Samaritans and Non-Jews remains closed and locked, it is so in heaven. Jesus authorized his apostles to forgive sins (John 20:23). Later Paul writes that the Corinthian congregation “forgive” the incestuous sinner (2 Corinthians 2:7).

[4] I tell you [apostles]: The Greek “you” is plural and is directed to the twelve disciples.

[5] If two of you might agree about a matter on earth: If two apostles agree. Or, RIEU: if any two of you on earth agree in making any prayer; MON: if two of you on earth symphonize your praying. The words “might agree” are from the Greek SYMPHONESOSIN.

[6] It will occur just as you request: Or, RHM: it shall be brought to pass; KNX: it will be granted; NOR: my heavenly Father will answer your prayer.

[7] Two or three of you are gathered together: This is “two or three” of the apostles met in important matters of the Church. Or, WMS: wherever two or three have met as my disciples. The words “gathered together” are from a word related to “synagogue.” These may be official synods or congregational meetings. Compare 1 Corinthians 5:4; James 2:2. Note how Peter and John go to Samaria to request they receive the Pneuma (Acts 8:14, 15).

[8] In my name: Or, GDSP: as my followers; WMS: as my disciples. Note it is in the name of “Jesus” and not his Father “Jehovah.” The phrase may also mean something authorized by the person so named.

[9] I am among them: Or, WMS: I am right there with them. See notes on Matthew 28:20.

 

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Preceding

Matthew 18:1-6 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Children and Stumbling

Matthew 18:1-6 Reborn and pliable as a child

Matthew 18:7-11 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Danger of Stumbling-blocks

Matthew 18:12-14 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Searching for Lost Sheep

Matthew 18:15-17 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Three Steps to Gaining a Brother

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