The Disciples Continue to Be Taught
Matthew 18:7-20

This lesson is like “drinking from a fire hose!” More good teaching and truths from Jesus!
This lesson is packed with emotional subjects. And that’s my introduction.
7 “What sorrow awaits the world, because it tempts people to sin. Temptations are inevitable, but what sorrow awaits the
person who does the tempting. 8 So if your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It’s better to enter
eternal life with only one hand or one foot than to be thrown into eternal fire with both of your hands and feet. 9 And if
your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It’s better to enter eternal life with only one eye than to have
two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.

SLIDE Dealing with Temptation
1) V7 What does this verse tell us about temptations and people?
Start with the fact that we have free will. We get to choose. From Genesis we get to decide when to say “no” or
“enough.” We get to decide if we are going to be the humans God made in his image or not. The serpent represents “the
beast” that will take what he wants, devour what he wants, use what he wants, discard or destroy what he doesn’t want.
The whole “world” has sorrows coming because it is the source of temptations.
People will be tempted by things of this world.
QUESTION: What temptations does the world tempt us with? Money, sex, power, the opposite – ways to waste time and
do nothing, getting swept up in bad, harmful ideas, and bad harmful substances, sex trafficking. All of these are
worldwide phenomenon.
Money example: Guatemala trip – Guatemalan man on plane (brick layer), but wife had to work to pay bills. Got there –
happy people going to work singing and smiling. The life he left.
Individual people tempt people. My shock/naivete – people in addiction tempt the person trying to get out.
Story – boys change a sign to point people the wrong direction. Later, they are shocked to learn how many people went
the wrong direction just because of what they did.
QUESTION: What was the message to the disciples (and to us?) If they do what the world does it will be difficult to
fulfill their mission.
READ VERSE 10 SLIDE More Warning About Children
10 “Beware that you don’t look down on any of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels are always in
the presence of my heavenly Father. (Verse 11 does not appear in the earliest ancient copies)
2) V10 Why did Jesus feel the need to mention children again (after what he said last week?)
He may have thought they didn’t get – so, Emphasis.
It’s a warning against using the world’s standards. Jesus raised the value of children.
Again, it’s about humility. Don’t think you are more important than even children!
Guardian angels? Lots of opinions
SLIDE: Tempters Beware

SLIDE The One that is Lost

12 “If a man has a hundred sheep and one of them wanders away, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others
on the hills and go out to search for the one that is lost? 13 And if he finds it, I tell you the truth, he will rejoice over it
more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even
one of these little ones should perish.

3) V12-14 Who is the shepherd? God Sheep? Jesus disciples What does the shepherd do? Goes after the lost sheep
QUESTION: What does this say about God? God has concern for every one of his sheep, every one of us, and he seeks
to restore any that wander away from him. He rejoices.
QUESTION: What does this say about man (in this case disciples?) We sometimes wander off.
What things do we wander off for? Money, sex, power, addiction, laziness
What other reasons? Feeling unwanted, being driven off
What’s the lesson for this church’s leaders? We should be careful not to do anything that would cause one of his humble
disciples to wander away. Nor be rejected by us, God’s representatives.
What should this church’s leaders be doing? Welcoming, Showing hospitality, helping disciples find their mission, teach,
lead thru example (discipling) learning your names �� (Most of us are production driven – get it done people – we’ve got
to watch out for ourselves)
What should you be doing? Taking it all in. Helping with welcoming, helping with hospitality, Helping the new people
that are here for the first time. Let me just say, we love having you here!
SLIDE: If you go missing, get “lost,” Jesus is searching for you. As will this church.

SLIDE Sin Among Believers

15 “If another believer sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it,
you have won that person back. 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. 17 If the person still refuses to listen, take your case to
the church. Then if he or she won’t accept the church’s (second and last time the term is used in the gospels) decision,
treat that person as a pagan or a corrupt tax collector.
18 “I tell you the truth, whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will
be permitted in heaven.
4) When you’ve been confronted or someone confronted you, how did it go?
I’ve been trained in crucial conversations and I still mess up. This is hard. This is probably why Jesus gave very detailed
instructions. On of the few times that he did.
5) What are the steps that Jesus laid out?
Go privately and point it out > If they listen and confess all is good > if not try with two > if not take them before the
church for a decision > if not accepting the decision, treat them as a pagan or corrupt tax collector?
QUESTION: How did Jesus treat one tax collector? Called him to be a disciple. Pagans – he came for them, too, as we
have learned. So, do we shun them? No, but they don’t get the benefits of Living the Good Life of the Kingdom of God.
They are treated as an unbeliever in need of a savior!
QUESTION: Something is implied regarding who you tell. What is it? Tell as few people as possible. i.e. don’t put it
on Facebook.
SLIDE: Sin in the church must be addressed thru Restorative Justice

SLIDE Prayer Among Believers

19 “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for
you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
6) What is Jesus saying?
Anything? Can we pray for West Mountain to collapse right now and it happen? No. But, God backs his representatives
on earth in these matters discussed above. And God is powerful.
“What Jesus is saying is that it is possible for quite ordinary humans like you and me to exercise extraordinary power, that
heaven would in some sense ratify what is done on earth, that we would be put in touch with a world beyond this world
which is visible to our senses.”
"One of you shall chase a thousand, but two of you shall chase ten thousand." Deuteronomy 32:30)
IMPORTANT: This is in the context of the disciples. Then the church. Not lone ranger special interest groups.
QUESTION: What things have we seen prayer do in the bible?
"Prayer has already divided seas and rolled up flowing rivers,
it has made flinty rocks gush into fountains,
it has quenched flames of fire,
it has muzzled lions, disarmed vipers and poisons,
it has marshaled the stars against the wicked,
it has stopped the course of the moon and arrested the sun in its race,
it has burst open iron gates and recalled souls from eternity,
it has conquered the strongest devils and commanded legions of angels down from heaven.
Prayer has bridled and chained the raging passions of men
and destroyed vast armies of proud, daring, blustering atheists.
Prayer has brought one man from the bottom of the sea and carried another in a chariot of fire to heaven."
That is not mere hyperbole, that is fact. Prayer has done a great many things beside. It is an awesome, mighty force in the
world of men.
It is apparent that prayer is authority: an authority which operates in mystery. It is the link to that invisible world which is
the control center of all human life. We stand on the frontier between two worlds when we pray. Therefore, as James says,
"the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man has great effect," (James 5:16 KJV).
Message: Take this most seriously. A yes on earth is yes in heaven. A no on earth is a no in heaven. What you say to one
another is eternal. I mean this. When two of you get together on anything at all on earth and make a prayer of it, my
Father in heaven goes into action. And when two or three of you are together because of me, you can be sure that I’ll be
SLIDE: Prayer works and it is powerful
SLIDE Training:
Tempters Beware
Especially toward children
If you go missing, know he will come for you
Sin in the church must be addressed thru Restorative Justice
Prayer works and it is powerful