Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
As committed followers of Jesus one of the our first and most basic understandings should be reconciliation. Jesus says, “first be reconciled.” In the context that Jesus uses this, He puts reconciliation above religious ritual. The bible tells us that before being reconciled with God we are His enemies separated from Him by our evil thoughts and actions. As His enemies, we are hostile towards God because we reject Him. God is righteous and holy and intolerant of sin. When we are reconciled to God through Jesus Chris, we concede that we break God’s law and need a saviour. When we do that Jesus becomes our reconciliation. That reconciliation with God is the first thing we need to understand as followers of Jesus.
For a committed follower of Jesus we are supposed to also be reconciled with other followers of Jesus. One thing we can learn is that there WILL be a need for reconciliation with other believers. When you read verse 23 you will see that it says, “you remember that your brother has something against you.” “Has something against you” probably implies a just claim. That means that you have offended someone else, not that they have offended you. We naturally worry about the times we are offended, but Jesus says that isn’t what we should be worried about. We should be worried about offending others, and when we realise that we have done so, we should make the effort to reconcile with that person.
Have you ever been offended by someone and had them make the effort to reconcile with you? Have you ever knowingly offended someone and then made the effort to reconcile with them? God’s way of doing things works. Not everyone we attempt to reconcile with will always want to be reconciled, but if we have tried we have done what we are supposed to do.
Pastor Chris Miller