Archive for July 9th, 2007

Matthew 18:20 where two or three are gathered together in my name

Monday, July 9th, 2007 at 1:08 pm

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:20

This verse is frequently taken out of context and misapplied. I think I have only heard this verse correctly preached in its context one time out of the hundreds of times I have heard it. Most of the time, this verse is used in the context of believers meeting together in a church service. You’ve heard it, I’m sure: when you come to church, Jesus is in the midst of the service because there are at least two or three gathered together. While Jesus is certainly in the midst of any gathering of believers, the context of this verse is not dealing with a normal church service and therefore, this verse is incorrectly used if applied that way. The context of the passage is church discipline. When the Lord Jesus Christ says that if two or three are gathered together in his name, that he would be in the midst thereof, he is saying that when church discipline has been carried to its final step (the unrepentant church member has been brought before the church and fellowship has been withdrawn) and the members have agreed to withdraw fellowship, that Jesus supports that action – his being in the midst means that he is in agreement that when someone refuses to hear the church, that person should be treated as a heathen and a publican.

If you think about it, if this verse really meant that Jesus is in the midst when two or three are gathered together, what about when a believer is by himself? Is not Jesus there also? Does not Christ dwell in every believer?

Don’t misuse this verse and apply it to normal church services. We should get the meaning from the context.

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by gahammerle