Matthew 18:18-20 - Corporate Prayer
“Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven. 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. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” (NASB95)
Their actions of binding and loosing were to be directed by heaven (Matt. 18:18; cf. comments on 16:19). Clearly all are addressed for the you pronouns are plural. Besides their binding and loosing, they were also to engage in corporate prayer. Whenever they came together in the name of the Lord, He would be with them. And if two or three would agree together about anything it would be done for them by the Father in heaven. (The Bible Knowledge Commentary, V 2, p.62)Comments on 16:19 as mentioned above:
He declared that Peter would be given significant authority, the keys of the kingdom of heaven. A “key” was a sign of authority, for a trusted steward kept the keys to his master’s possessions and dispensed them accordingly (cf. “the keys of death and hades” [Rev. 1:18] and “the key of David” [Rev. 3:7], which Jesus possesses). Peter was told he would possess the keys and be able to bind and loose people. These were decisions Peter was to implement as he received instruction from heaven, for the binding and loosing occurred there first. Peter simply carried out God’s directions. This privilege of binding and loosing was seen in Peter’s life as he had the privilege on the day of Pentecost to proclaim the gospel and announce to all those who responded in saving faith that their sins had been forgiven (Acts 2). He was able to do the same thing with the household of Cornelius (Acts 10–11; cf. Acts 15:19–20). The same privilege was given all the disciples (John 20:22–23).
Barbieri, L. A., & Jr. (1985). Matthew. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck, Ed.) (Mt 16:17–20, V2, p. 58). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Binding and loosing. This was a very familiar phrase to the Jews, for their rabbis often spoke of “binding and loosing,” that is, forbidding or permitting. Our Lord’s statement in Matthew 16:19 referred to Peter. But His statement later in Matthew 18:18 included all of the Apostles. As the representatives of their Lord, they would exercise authority according to His Word.
The Greek verbs in Matthew 16:19 are most important. The Expanded Translation by Dr. Kenneth S. Wuest reads: “And whatever you bind on earth [forbid to be done], shall have been already bound … in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth [permit to be done], shall have already been loosed in heaven.” Jesus did not say that God would obey what they did on earth, but that they should do on earth whatever God had already willed. The church does not get man’s will done in heaven; it obeys God’s will on earth.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Mt 16:13–20). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.