Matthew 18:19 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Matthew 18:19, NIV: "Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven."

Matthew 18:19, ESV: "Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven."

Matthew 18:19, KJV: "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."

Matthew 18:19, NASB: "'Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven."

Matthew 18:19, NLT: "'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."

Matthew 18:19, CSB: "Again, truly I tell you, if two of you on earth agree about any matter that you pray for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven."

What does Matthew 18:19 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In these words, often misinterpreted and misapplied, Jesus is talking to the Twelve within the context of a sinful believer who is being removed from the community of Christians. These men will become the apostles of Jesus, given enormous power to represent Him on earth after He departs for heaven and the church is born. One power He will give to them is accurately presenting godly truth (John 14:25–26).

Jesus does not give these men authority over heaven by saying that whatever they bind or loose on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven. Rather, when they describe a person as bound by sin or freed from sin, they are speaking truth. If they describe someone as included in the church or removed from it—according to these teachings of Jesus—that statement holds true. It is an enormous responsibility.

Likewise, Jesus' comments on prayer must be carefully understood. This promise follows the statement on binding and loosing, which itself is a continuation of remarks about church discipline. In this case, that seems to limit application to the disciples' prayer of removing a believer from the community for a refusal to repent. Again, this would be a very solemn and heavy responsibility.

It is drastically against the context of this passage to assume this is a promise from God that any two or three Christians who come together to ask for anything from God will receive what they ask for.