Mat 18 outline:
Mat 18:1-11, Who is the greatest / become as little children
Mat 18:12-14, The parable of the lost sheep
Mat 18:15-17, If your brother sins against you
Mat 18:18, Binding and loosing on earth and in heaven
Mat 18:19-20, If two or more of you agree, it will be done for them
Mat 18:21-22, How often should I forgive my brother? Seventy times seven
Mat 18:23-35, The parable of the unforgiving servant
Mat 18 chiastic structures:
1a) Mat 18:1, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven;
1b) Mat 18:2, He called a little child and set him in their midst;
central axis) Mat 18:3, Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven;
2b) Mat 18:4a, Whoever humbles himself as this little child;
2a) Mat 18:4b, Is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
1a) Mat 18:5, Whoever receives one little child in My name receives Me;
1b) Mat 18:6, Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin;
1c) Mat 18:7a, Woe to the world because of offenses;
central axis) Mat 18:7b, For offenses must come;
2c) Mat 18:7c, Woe to that man by whom the offense comes;
2b) Mat 18:8-9, Cast away the causes of sin;
2a) Mat 18:10, Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones.
1a) Mat 18:11, For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost;
1b) Mat 18:12a, If a man has 100 sheep and one goes astray, he leaves the 99;
central axis) Mat 18:12b, He goes to the mountains to seek the one that is straying;
2b) Mat 18:13, If he should find it, he rejoices more over the one than over the 99;
2a) Mat 18:14, It is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
1a) Mat 18:2, Jesus set a little child in the midst of them;
1b) Mat 18:3-5, Humbled as little children + receive a little child in Jesus’ name;
1c) Mat 18:6-10, Causes of sin;
central axis) Mat 18:11-14, Parable of the lost sheep;
2c) Mat 18:15-17, Responses to sin;
2b) Mat 18:18-20a, Bind/ loose/ agree in asking + gathered together in Jesus’ name;
2a) Mat 18:20b, Jesus Himself in the midst of them.
In this structure the surrounding elements which clearly pair, force the B pair to pair, and it is not readily apparent what their connection is. My initial sense is that just as we must humble ourselves as little children, receiving little children in Jesus’ name, so we must humble ourselves to receive others and to agree with others instead of proudly contending with them.
1a) Mat 18:12-14, The parable of the lost sheep (the Son of man seeks + saves the lost);
1b) Mat 18:15-17, If your brother sins against you, go to him + gain your brother;
1c) Mat 18:18, Whatever you bind + loose on earth will be bound + loosed in heaven;
1d) Mat 18:19a, If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask;
central axis) Mat 18:19b, It will be done for them by My Father in heaven;
2d) Mat 18:20a, For where two or three are gathered together in My name;
2c) Mat 18:20b, I am there in the midst of them;
2b) Mat 18:21-22, If my brother sins against me, how often shall I forgive him? Seventy times seven;
2a) Mat 18:23-35, The parable of the unforgiving servant (the Father is moved with compassion + forgives sins).
In this structure the surrounding elements which clearly pair, force the C pair to pair, and it is not readily apparent what their connection is. My initial sense is that the authority to bind and loose stems from the presence of Jesus with us, to whom all authority on heaven and earth has been given.