Matthew 18:19
Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
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(19) Shall agree on earth.—The promise, as before, is dependent on implied conditions. Those who pray must be gathered together in the name of Christ (Matthew 18:20), i.e., as trusting to His intercession, asking a prayer which is not the utterance of the natural but the spiritual man, asking it in entire submission to the will of their Father in heaven. In the absence of those conditions, as in the prayer of the sons of Zebedee, asking they knew not what (Matthew 20:20), that which they desired might be withheld from them, or granted in quite another manner than that on which they had set their hearts.

18:15-20 If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practised every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us.Again I say unto you, That if two of you ... - This is connected with the previous verses. The connection is this: The obstinate man is to be excluded from the church, Matthew 18:17. The care of the church - the power of admitting or excluding members - of organizing and establishing it - is committed to you, the apostles, Matthew 18:18. Yet there is not need of the whole to give validity to the transaction. When two of you agree, or have the same mind, feelings, and opinion, about the arrangement of affairs in the church, or about things desired for its welfare, and shall ask of God, it shall be done for them. See Acts 1:14-26; Acts 15:1-29. The promise here has respect to the apostles in organizing the church. It cannot with any propriety be applied to the ordinary prayers of believers. Other promises are made to them, and it is true that the prayer of faith will be answered, but that is not the truth taught here. 19. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. See Poole on "Matthew 18:20".

Again, I say unto you,.... As the words in the former verse seem to regard the whole body of the disciples, whose decisions in cases brought before them, declaring them just or unjust, are determinate and unalterable; these seem to respect the one or two, that should join the offended person in the reproof of the offender, and are spoken for their encouragement; who might think proper either to premise, or follow their engaging in such a work with prayer:

that if two of you shall agree on earth, as touching anything that they shall ask; both in the case before mentioned, and in any other thing: whether it be for themselves or others; to assist them in the ministry of the word, and give success to it, for the conversion of sinners; and in the performance of any miracle, for the confirmation of the Gospel; in the administration of ordinances, for the comfort of saints; and in laying on of censures, for the reclaiming of backsliders; or be it what it will that may be done, consistent with the glory of God, the purposes of his mind, and the declarations of his will, and the good of men, provided they agree in their requests; though they are here on earth, and at such a distance from heaven, from whence their help and assistance come:

it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven; with whom nothing is impossible; and who, as he regards the effectual fervent prayer of any righteous man, so more, of two agreed together in anyone thing; and still more, of a church and community of saints in their united requests: a great encouragement this to social prayer, though ever so few are engaged in it.

Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall {l} agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.

(l) This word, which is normally used of the body, is here used of the mind, for it belongs properly to poetry.

Matthew 18:19-20. Promise of the power and presence of God to encourage concord.

19. The slight digression is continued. Christ thinks of His Church. Not only shall your decisions be ratified, but your requests shall be granted, provided ye agree.

Matthew 18:19. Πάλιν, again) The same thing is repeated in somewhat different language. The particle πάλιν is used epitatically,[834] as in ch. Matthew 19:24, and Galatians 5:3. In this place, our Lord speaks of His disciples as acting together; in Matthew 18:18, in their individual. capacity. Cf. ch. Matthew 16:19.—δύο, two) sc. two, if not more, contrasted with all; cf. Matthew 18:18 : two, e.g. husband and wife. Great is the virtue of united faith. That which may hinder the prayers of one man, from his own weakness, is made up by the fellowship (societas) of even one brother.—ἐπὶ τῆς γῆςἐν οὐρανοῖς, on earth—in heaven) The same antithesis occurs in Matthew 18:18.—αἰτήσωνται shall ask) sc. with regard to binding or loosing.

[834] See explanation of technical terms in Appendix, on the figure Epitasis.—(I. B.)

Verse 19. - Again I say unto you. The following paragraph has been thought by many to be addressed especially to the apostles in confirmation of the powers conferred on them above; but from ver. 20 we should judge the promise to be general. Herein is set forth the privilege of united prayer. God confirms the sentence of his authorized ambassadors; he gives special heed to the joint intercessions of all Christians. Two of you. Two of my followers, even the smallest number that could form an association. Shall agree (συμφωνήσωσιν). Be in complete accord, like the notes of a perfect strain of music. Here one man's infirmity is upheld by another's strength; one man's short-sightedness compensated by another's wider view; this man's little faith overpowered by that man's firm confidence. Anything. Of course, this is to be understood with some restriction. The thing asked must be reasonable, good in itself, expedient for the petitioner; the prayer must be earnest, faithful, persevering. If such conditions are satisfied, the desire will be granted in some form, though, perhaps, not in the way or at the time expected. Thus the Lord sanctions guilds or bodies of Christians united together to offer up supplications for special objects or with some definite intention in which all ere agreed. Matthew 18:19Shall agree (συμφωνήσουσιν)

From σύν, together, and φωνή, sound or voice. Transcribed in our word symphony. It has so far lost its distinctive character as a concord of voices as to be used for agreement in the deeper and more inward sense.

Concerning anything that they shall ask (περὶ παντὸς πράγματος οὗ ἐὰν αἰτήσωνται)

The literal rendering is, if any thing, stronger: Everything, whatever it be, for which they may have asked. Wyc., Shall consent of everything whatever they shall ask. Tynd., Shall agree in any manner thing whatsoever they shall desire. The word πρᾶγμα, thing, is used like the Latin res; a matter, affair, business; with the meaning at bottom of something to be done, since it is cognate to the verb πράσσω, to do. Shall be done, however, is γενήσεται, it shall come to pass.

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