Summary: Why can’t we all just get along? Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with everyone in our family, at work, in our marriage, and business dealings?

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Why can’t we all just get along? Wouldn’t it be nice if we got along with everyone…family, work, marriage, business dealings?

Ever since the Evil One’s fall, there has been conflict. Conflict is inevitable.

At the heart of every conflict is someone’s desire to be more important than someone else. Whenever we allow conflict to go unresolved, we are playing into the hands of God’s enemy.

Perhaps that’s why Jesus left this lesson toward the end of his ministry. It was one thing Jesus didn’t want the disciples to miss.

Reading it in context, Jesus maybe referring to the “Who is the greatest” conversation, which conversation would naturally lead to sin & offenses. He says, “Become like children; do not offend one of these little children.”

So what do we do when an offense has occurred?

I was in a church one time and someone wanted to leave the church b/c someone else had offended them. I said, “Let me go get the person.” They said, “Really.” They couldn’t believe that I would confront someone about an offense. That is what we are called to do in this passage.


If a believer sins against you

Image here is of . . .

Archery: Misses the mark


Trespass: wanders from the path

Notice what he doesn’t say. He doesn’t say confront someone if what they do annoys you.

No instructions for annoyances of others. Not commanded to confront about those things b/c we can usually make allowance for those things.

Go privately

We often wait for someone to come ask our forgiveness. Jesus says do not wait; you could be waiting a lifetime.

We go, but in the wrong direction! Instead of going to the person, we go tell someone else about the problem. That is called gossip.

He says go privately, but we go public with it by telling people who are not part of the problem or part of the solution.

And point out the fault

“Expose it to the light”

Illustration: My wife’s jacket had holds under the armpit, but we didn’t notice it until it was exposed to the light.

Most people want to know if they are wrong.

Correct a wise man and he will be wiser.

Some will be embarrassed, angry, or deny the offense, but it is our job to tell them.

If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

The word in the Greek is acoustic: “if there are good acoustics” then the person will repent. If they are listening to you that is.

Correcting someone is always done for their own good.

What to do if the person will not hear us? Most of us say, “oh well, that’s that; I did my part.”

v. 16 But if you are unsuccessful, take one or two others with you and go back again, so that everything you say may be confirmed by two or three witnesses.

Why bring other people into this?

Because you might have a blind spot.

Others help confirm that the person is in sin.

Notice Jesus says to bring two. Best friends usually side with best friends. Bring people who are not biased.

After bring two or more, now what?

v. 17 If that person still refuses to listen, take your case to the church. If the church decides you are right, but the other person won’t accept it, treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.

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