Friday, October 13, 2017



Not yet called Christians, Jesus’ followers heard Him say:

Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if ye do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (Mark 11:24-26 KJV)

There’s another example:

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. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. (Matthew 18:15-17 KJV)

One more:

Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. (Matthew 5:23-24 KJV)

Sounds as though it’s rather important. There are examples of this at work in the letters of the New Testament.  There the discussions are among those who were first called Christians at Antioch, and the word still applies to those who follow Jesus, God’s Christ.

I'm picking one I've been reading for the rest of this blog - Paul and John Mark.  Half the story of Paul and John Mark (yes, the Mark that wrote the book, and the nephew of Barnabas) is told in Acts 15:36-41.  It began with John Mark leaving "Paul and his company" in Acts 13:13.

The end of the story shows them reconciled in II Timothy 4:9-11, where Paul is giving closing instructions:

Do thy diligence to come shortly unto me: For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. (2 Timothy 4:9-11 KJV)

Here we see that Mark is profitable to Paul in continuing his ministry while Paul is in prison. They worked out a reconciliation.

But someone else moved away – this time Demas left, “having loved this present world.” The Bible does not tell what caused the rift between Demas, who in Colossians 4 and Philemon 1, is named as Paul’s companion, just as Luke and Mark are.

All those words, and the examples. Do they make an impression on us? Or do we not hold out a hand of reconciliation? Do we have to do it on every occasion? Let me leave that last question for the next blog. I need to spend time myself on this one. Rereading. Praying.

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