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Matthew 18:15-20

1. At the time Matthew was writing his gospel local church communities would have numbered no more than fifty people. They would be known to one another. Matthew presents the instructions of Jesus for dealing with people whose behaviour disrupted and harmed the community. Note the steps suggested. Simple directions, but many of us do otherwise. We avoid difficult confrontations. We talk about the faults of others to everyone but themselves. We go over the head of someone who displeases us and make complaints. In your experience, which approach is life-giving for you and for others?

2. While Jesus is referring to a group situation, the advice can be applied also to personal difficulties and problems with others. What lessons has life taught you about constructive ways of dealing with conflict?

3. As individuals and communities we have the power to bind and to loose, to exclude people from relationship, or to open up and include others in relationship. When have you found it important to acknowledge this power in your own life?

4. Jesus also promises to be with his followers when they gather together. What does that mean to you? How have you experienced the presence of Jesus in his followers gathered together?

Last Modified on Sat 23rd Sep 2017 23:32:49

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