NINETY-NINE MINUS ONE

“ What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety- nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety- nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish
(Matthew 18:12-14 NKJV)

Undeniable truth - None of us are perfect and none know all.

What does that have to do with this passage? Right after that passage is a portion of Scripture that is vastly ignored. It's vastly ignored because we really don't like it. But, when we look at the context of everything that Christ is talking about; we get a clearer picture of the subject at hand.

In Matthew 18:15-17, Y'shua is describing how to handle sin within the church. When you look at all the passages in context you see Christ talking about leaving the 99 to get the one. That one is a brother or sister in sin. He immediately moves to how to handle those in sin. We don't leave them there, we go after them and try to bring them back into the fold. It would have been understood that WE are the ones going after that one; and we rejoice when they repent. That should be done in the same manner as Christ. Christ pointed to the Word of God, pointed to the sin, and asked them to repent from their ways. It was done openly and lovingly.

Now, because none of us are perfect and none of us know all, we will, more than likely, be on the receiving end of chastising at some point. We will be on the receiving end of someone showing us truth in Scripture that contradicts what we want to believe. The question is, how are we going to handle that?

There are a number of ways that we handle these cases today. Unfortunately, we are more often offended then any other way. We get offended, we start to call names, and pull Scripture from context to try and support what we are doing and trying to use it as a weapon against a person who may be doing nothing more than trying to help us grow to the next level.

We have the option to deny what we are being told and shown. This option could be by itself but is often accompanied by the prior. It's these two options that have caused church splits and new denominations to form. In essence, it's the splitting of what the Bible calls the body of Christ.

There's the option that I'm usually guilty of, that is getting defensive then sitting back and dwelling on what was said while searching Scripture and myself. This option usually requires a humbling of oneself to go back and apologize and admit you were wrong.

There's the option of admitting, but then doing nothing about it in our life. This option is just as dangerous as the first two.

Last, and certainly not least, is the option to receive it openly, search the Scriptures, and search yourself; then correct any issue. Sometimes the correction may take help from the brothers and sisters in your circle; but it's good to move forward to God.

We must remember that the Bible describes us as a body. The leg is not offended when the hand tries to put a bandaid on a cut; and the arm does not try to remove the hand for trying to assist in a injury. Instead of having the 21st century self centered, self sufficiency, mentality of America; let us have a community mind under the head which is Christ.

God Bless
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