Do You Remember That thy Brother hath Ought Against Thee?
During the Communion service, some may refer to this scripture in Matthew 5:23-24: “Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.” They interpreted this passage to include everyone instead of only “thy brothers”.
So if there is an enemy that we have an “ought” with, or if we have an “ought” with the Devil, or demons, or his representatives that reviled in darkness, do we still need to leave our gift before the altar, and go our ways to first reconciled with them, and then come back and offer our gifts? This shows that including everyone apart from solely “thy brother” is not what the scripture is saying. We can and should only reconcile with believers in Christ. Why? This is because we have one faith, one God. That is why the scripture said in Ephesians 5:10-12 “Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.”
If it is perceived that a person takes communion and has not reconciled with his enemy or those of darkness, then the next scripture he will hear is 1 Corinthians 11:27-29, “Wherefore, whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.” The ‘whosoever’ in this reference is the person who ought to have reconciled but did not.
But a couple of verses above 1 Corinthians 11:27 put into context what verses 27-29 were referring to. Let’s look at verses 20 to 22 (NLT): “When you meet together, you are not really interested in the Lord’s Supper. For some of you hurry to eat your own meal without sharing with others. As a result, some go hungry while others get drunk. What? Don’t you have your own homes for eating and drinking? Or do you really want to disgrace God’s church and shame the poor? What am I supposed to say? Do you want me to praise you? Well, I certainly will not praise you for this!” These individuals are the “whosoevers”. They are not interested in the meaning of the Lord’s Supper; they are only concern about the food – bread and wine. Therefore the passage, “For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body,” is not referring to the “Ought” that someone has with unbelievers or those in “darkness”.
Many believers in Christ hear these sermons and not aware of the correct interpretations, so they do not participate in taking the Communion, because they still have ‘ought’ with those who are not their brothers nor sisters in Christ.
On a different note; do you know why the order of Communion service that Jesus officiated was reversed in today’s services? Jesus shared the bread and the wine, and then he washed their feet (John 13:2-5). Today, we wash our feet and then eat the bread and then drink the wine. Does the order of service matter? If the meaning is there, what does the order signifies?