2 or 3 are gathered (Matthew 18) | Story

There are two quite distinct teachings in this short 6 verse section from Matthew 18: the teaching on resolving arguments and the teaching on corporate prayer. To capture both, this retelling weaves a fictional story about one of the crowd of extra’s. We know from Acts 2 that many men were with Jesus throughout his time but not chosen to be one of his disciples, one called ‘Justus’ is mentioned and this is an imagined story of his. Which of the two elements you decide to stress is entirely up to you.

This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.

Main Passage : Matthew 18 15-20
Extra reference : Acts 1

Jesus was teaching his followers, but today he wasn’t speaking to a large crowd, he was speaking to those who already knew him. To Jesus’ right, he saw Justus, one of the men who followed Jesus and the apostles. Justus wasn’t looking at him but at another man, his face was angry. The two men had argued the day before and clearly hadn’t made friends again. Jesus paused for a moment, he didn’t want arguments to pull apart his followers.

“Are you listening?” Jesus said loudly into the air, in the corner of his eye, he saw a few faces turn back to him, including Justus.

“When somebody wrongs you, this is what you should do.

First, go and talk to the person. If they do not listen, then ask 1 or 2 people to join you, not to take your side but to listen to you both. If that does not work, then ask the church to speak to him or her.”

“But what if they still don’t listen?” Justus called out, hoping that this argument would not go so far as the last one.

Jesus looked down at the ground. His heart broke because he knew there would be people who wouldn’t listen.

“They will be like one who has never known the church.” he sighed. “Love them, pray for them, but walk away from trying to get them to apologise.”

Justus looked at the man who was once his friend. He couldn’t imagine this journey without him,

“Will they never come back?” he asked.

“Pray they do” said Jesus, a smile forming on his lips “Pray, pray together, for when your prayers are in agreement then the father will answer them. Gather to pray with other believers.”

“How many others?” Justus asked.

Jesus paused, raising his voice again, this was important.

“Where two or three are gathered, together, in My name, I am there with them.”

“Just two or three?” shouted another voice.

“Oh yes! You need no great crowd, I will be with you.”

Justus pushed through the crowd to his friend, they were both apologising at the same time. Days would come when they would pray together, praise together, and remind themselves that they gathered because of Jesus and when they did… He Was Always There.

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