Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Matthew 18:19- How can this be taken literally?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Matthew 18:19- How can this be taken literally?

    19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

    How can verse 19 be explained? If a non-Christian questioned me about the meaning of this verse, I would have no idea what to tell them- we all know that we will not be given anything we ask for. If 2 people meet together and pray, for instance, for a person in their congregation that they don't like to die, God is most likely not going to meet that request (I think everyone can agree that if He did it would be extremely troubling).

    So why would Jesus phrase the statement in this absolute, all-inclusive manner without adding any conditions (for instance, "if what you ask for is in accordance with God's will")?

    I have run into several absolute statements like this in the Bible that just seem by all accounts to not be true if taken literally. How can this verse (and others like it) be explained/reconciled?

    Lastly, and on a slightly different note, is verse 20 inferring that God is not with us when we praying alone or that He is with us to a lesser degree that He would be if we were in a group?

  • #2
    "Again, I assure you: If two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there among them." - Matthew 18:19-20

    Well......it's not exactly a blank check, you know. The fact that they are gathered in Jesus' Name takes away any validity for prayers not lined up with the will of God.

    I looked up the word "agree" on Strong's Concordance and it said that it is the Greek word "symphoneo". Obviously we get the word symphony for that word. Also at the bottom of the page it said that Thayer's Lexicon said the word "symphoneo" means "to be in accord like sounds and musical instruments."

    So, there is a harmony implied. Two or more gathered praying in harmony. In harmony with what? God's will.

    And no, Jesus is not implying in verse 20 that He is not with the solitary one who prays as He is with the corporate body. It's just my opinion that He is encouraging the assembling of ourselves together. Unity in the body.
    sigpic
    ".....it's your nickel"

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Petey View Post
      19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

      How can verse 19 be explained? If a non-Christian questioned me about the meaning of this verse, I would have no idea what to tell them- we all know that we will not be given anything we ask for. If 2 people meet together and pray, for instance, for a person in their congregation that they don't like to die, God is most likely not going to meet that request (I think everyone can agree that if He did it would be extremely troubling).

      So why would Jesus phrase the statement in this absolute, all-inclusive manner without adding any conditions (for instance, "if what you ask for is in accordance with God's will")?

      I have run into several absolute statements like this in the Bible that just seem by all accounts to not be true if taken literally. How can this verse (and others like it) be explained/reconciled?

      Lastly, and on a slightly different note, is verse 20 inferring that God is not with us when we praying alone or that He is with us to a lesser degree that He would be if we were in a group?
      I believe the answer can be found here,


      Matthew 18:1 ( KJV )
      At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?


      Matthew 18:2-3 ( KJV )
      And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
      And said, [U]]Verily I say unto you[/U], Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

      This statement was made to the disciples. It is not a statement to all of Christianity.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Petey View Post
        19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

        How can verse 19 be explained? If a non-Christian questioned me about the meaning of this verse, I would have no idea what to tell them- we all know that we will not be given anything we ask for. If 2 people meet together and pray, for instance, for a person in their congregation that they don't like to die, God is most likely not going to meet that request (I think everyone can agree that if He did it would be extremely troubling).

        So why would Jesus phrase the statement in this absolute, all-inclusive manner without adding any conditions (for instance, "if what you ask for is in accordance with God's will")?

        I have run into several absolute statements like this in the Bible that just seem by all accounts to not be true if taken literally. How can this verse (and others like it) be explained/reconciled?

        Lastly, and on a slightly different note, is verse 20 inferring that God is not with us when we praying alone or that He is with us to a lesser degree that He would be if we were in a group?
        Verse 19 seems to parallel verse 16. Perhaps this is a clue.

        Comment


        • #5
          Petey:
          So why would Jesus phrase the statement in this absolute, all-inclusive manner without adding any conditions
          Matthew 18:19 is qualified by other verses in the Bible (1 John 5:14; 1 John 3:22; James 4:3). Correct understanding of any one verse in the Bible can only be arrived at by comparing it with other, related verses elsewhere in the Bible (Isaiah 28:9-10, 1 Corinthians 2:13). So we must know the whole Bible (2 Timothy 3:16, Matthew 4:4), and not get hung up on just a single verse here or there.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Petey View Post
            19"Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. 20For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them."

            How can verse 19 be explained? If a non-Christian questioned me about the meaning of this verse, I would have no idea what to tell them- we all know that we will not be given anything we ask for. If 2 people meet together and pray, for instance, for a person in their congregation that they don't like to die, God is most likely not going to meet that request (I think everyone can agree that if He did it would be extremely troubling).

            So why would Jesus phrase the statement in this absolute, all-inclusive manner without adding any conditions (for instance, "if what you ask for is in accordance with God's will")?

            I have run into several absolute statements like this in the Bible that just seem by all accounts to not be true if taken literally. How can this verse (and others like it) be explained/reconciled?

            Lastly, and on a slightly different note, is verse 20 inferring that God is not with us when we praying alone or that He is with us to a lesser degree that He would be if we were in a group?
            Take the bible as a whole on the matter.

            If I sent you an email last week saying I have the hundred dollars I owe you.
            And next week another which said whenever you ask me to I will give you one hundred dollars.

            Now someone reading only the second email would think you have some unbelievable sweet deal or are blackmailing me.
            Be Holy!

            Comment


            • #7
              The context of 18:19 is part of 18:15-20, which is primarily about the authority of the apostles to excommunicate and recommunicate. In which case I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, (including excommunicating or recommunicating someone) then I Christ am with the 2 or 3. Otherwise why is this verse here between 18:18 and 18:20?

              Comment


              • #8
                Stephen took the words right out of my mouth

                It's not about prayer. It's about church discipline

                Comment


                • #9
                  The basic principle in Matthew 18:19 of Christians getting what they pray for is applicable even outside of the context of Matthew 18:15-20, for the same basic principle is taught repeatedly elsewhere: e.g. Matthew 21:22, Matthew 7:7-8, John 14:13-14, John 15:16, John 16:23-24. The point of such verses is to encourage Christians to pray, for "ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2). And to pray with faith: "let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (James 1:6-7). Lack of faith is just one of the things that qualifies the promise of verses such as Matthew 18:19. Lack of obedience also qualifies it, for the promise applies only to the obedient (1 John 3:22, James 4:3). And 1 John 5:14 is a further qualification of the promise.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Steven3 View Post
                    The context of 18:19 is part of 18:15-20, which is primarily about the authority of the apostles to excommunicate and recommunicate. In which case I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, (including excommunicating or recommunicating someone) then I Christ am with the 2 or 3. Otherwise why is this verse here between 18:18 and 18:20?
                    Amen to that. The verse has to do with church discipline, not prayer.

                    Mat 18:15 "If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
                    Mat 18:16 But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses.
                    Mat 18:17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.

                    - this are the steps the apostles were to take to discipline a fellow brother in Christ, and in our current day, the elder(s) of the church

                    Mat 18:18 Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

                    - this is speaking of the apostle's authority to establish church rules of practice (which are listed in the epistles and are no longer changeable) and also speaks of the church leader's authority in excommunicating or recommunicating someone.

                    Mat 18:19 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.
                    Mat 18:20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them."

                    - speaking about the authority of church leadership, where two or three are gathered in my name is the local church
                    Tit 3:2 to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IsItLove? View Post
                      Take the bible as a whole on the matter.

                      If I sent you an email last week saying I have the hundred dollars I owe you.
                      And next week another which said whenever you ask me to I will give you one hundred dollars.

                      Now someone reading only the second email would think you have some unbelievable sweet deal or are blackmailing me.
                      Great analogy- that makes perfect sense. Thanks!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Thanks everyone for your replies- in context with the other verses everything makes sense

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Bible2 View Post
                          The basic principle in Matthew 18:19 of Christians getting what they pray for is applicable even outside of the context of Matthew 18:15-20, for the same basic principle is taught repeatedly elsewhere: e.g. Matthew 21:22, Matthew 7:7-8, John 14:13-14, John 15:16, John 16:23-24. The point of such verses is to encourage Christians to pray, for "ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2). And to pray with faith: "let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord" (James 1:6-7). Lack of faith is just one of the things that qualifies the promise of verses such as Matthew 18:19. Lack of obedience also qualifies it, for the promise applies only to the obedient (1 John 3:22, James 4:3). And 1 John 5:14 is a further qualification of the promise.
                          Hi!!!Petey, How are you?

                          This quote is most applicable...I'll just add some more.this encourage us to pray to Father through our Lord Jesus name so that we can receive the gift of the holy Spirit.

                          John 16: 23-24And in that day ye shall ask me nothing, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

                          v. 24] Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

                          Acts 8: 15- 16 Who when they come down,prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

                          v.16][ For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptised in the name of Lord Jesus.]

                          John 14: 26But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

                          Hope this will help.Thanks and God bless./RT.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            roaring tiger:
                            this encourage us to pray to Father through our Lord Jesus name so that we can receive the gift of the holy Spirit.
                            If by "this" you mean Matthew 18:19, it indeed encourages Christians to pray, for it is about Christians "asking" God the Father for something in prayer: "if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:19). While this principle includes asking the Father for someone to receive the Holy Spirit, this principle is in no way limited to that, just as it is in no way limited to asking the Father for something related to church discipline. For the principle applies to asking the Father for anything: "if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven" (Matthew 18:19).

                            While the principle of Matthew 18:19 applies to asking the Father for anything, asking to receive the Holy Spirit is so important that Jesus does elsewhere refer to that as a prime example of what should be asked for: "And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" (Luke 11:9-13).

                            Christians usually have to ask to receive the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), because he is not usually automatically given to Christians the moment they become believers; that's why Paul asked some believers: "Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?" (Acts 19:2). Christians usually receive the Holy Spirit through prayer accompanied by the laying on of hands, subsequent to water baptism: They "prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost: (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.) Then laid they their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost" (Acts 8:14-17). "They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied" (Acts 19:5-6). Many Christians have not yet experienced this simply because they have not yet asked for it, under the principle of: "ye have not, because ye ask not" (James 4:2). Many Christians have not yet asked for it because they have come under the influence of false teachings which say that it is no longer in effect.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              One one's heart is lined up and submitted to God, then that one will be able to discern what things asked for are of the flesh and which things are of the spirit. It's a simple division of ways. What is according to our way, God will not grant, for it is unhealthy. What is according to God's way, He will grant, for it is healthy.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X