The Verse of the Day for May 10, 2016 is found in Matthew 18:15 (KJV):
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
In any attempt to heal a broken relationship that may have been the result of an offense, whether deliberate or unknowingly committed, Jesus Christ encourages his followers to go the individual who caused the offense and confront the person and bring the offense to his or her attention. If the person hears you, then you have reconciled the relationship. The key to success lies in the conditional phrase, “If he shall hear. . .” indicating the possibility that the person will not hear.
Earlier in Matthew, the Disciples ask the Lord Jesus why he speaks in parables, and he responds:
Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
His response indicates that people can hear and yet not hear, personalized and poetically put this way:
Those who have eyes to see will behold the real me.
Those who don’t, won’t.
Those with ears to hear will also hear me.
Without ears to hear, they will not hear me.
Today’s Verse of the Day also brings to mind the Verse of the Day for May 6, 2016 which centered on James 5:16 (KJV), a parallel verse related to confessing our faults one to another:
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
The previous blog post also discussed Matthew 18:15. Here is an excerpt from that entry:
In examining the Matthew 18:15, what does it mean to “tell him his fault”? A similar phrase used in James 5:16 is also translated . . .”to confess to one another your trespasses . . . your offenses . . . your sins.” To confess is to say with one’s mouth. . .
With our mouths we acknowledge our shortcomings, our misdeeds, our sins of omission and sins of commission. We acknowledge that in far too many instances we have missed the mark and fallen short. I John 1:9 in the Amplified Bible assures us that:
9 If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].
In a similar manner, as we learn to value and steward our relationships, first and foremost with God, as we confess our sins, we also acknowledge our faults one to another and seek to heal any broken relationships with our fellow believers.
Ephesians 4:29-32 (NLT) offer this exhortation
29 Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
30 And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has identified you as his own, [a] guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.
31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.
32 Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Matthew West expresses the essence of today’s comments in the song: “Forgiveness.”