“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:20 NKJV
I am there
1 Corinthians 5:4
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
For I, saith the LORD, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her
Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers
(20) Where two or three . . .–The true meaning of the words is well embodied in the well-known patristic axiom, Ubi tres, ibi Ecclesia (“Where three are there is a church”). The strength of the Christian society was not to be measured by a numerical standard, but by its fulfilment of the true conditions of its life. The presence of Christ was as true and mighty, His communion with His Church as real, when His followers were but as a remnant, as when they were gathered in the great congregation. He would be with the “two or three” (there is, perhaps, a special reference to the self-same words in Matthew 18:16), to plead for them as the great High Priest, to impart Himself to them, to ratify their decisions.
Verse 20. – The promise is applied to the public prayer of the congregation, as we see in what is called “the prayer of St. Chrysostom” in the English Prayer book. Are gathered together. For the purpose of worship. It is a simpler form of the word used in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together.” In my Name (εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα); literally, into my Name; i.e. with love to me, yearning for union with me, and acting for my glory. This would imply decent and orderly meeting for the highest ends. There am I in the midst of them. Christ promises a real, actual presence, though invisible, as true as when he appeared to his disciples after his resurrection, as true as when the Shechinah shone in tabernacle or temple. The rabbis had a saying that if two sat at table and conversed about the Law of God, the Shechinah rested upon them. The promise in the text, of course, implies Christ’s omnipresence and omniscience. This is his blessing on united, congregational prayer.
Matthew Henry Commentary
18:15-20 If a professed Christian is wronged by another, he ought not to complain of it to others, as is often done merely upon report, but to go to the offender privately, state the matter kindly, and show him his conduct. This would generally have all the desired effect with a true Christian, and the parties would be reconciled. The principles of these rules may be practised every where, and under all circumstances, though they are too much neglected by all. But how few try the method which Christ has expressly enjoined to all his disciples! In all our proceedings we should seek direction in prayer; we cannot too highly prize the promises of God. Wherever and whenever we meet in the name of Christ, we should consider him as present in the midst of us.
What an interesting passage here. Quite reassuring it is. The one before literary blows my limited mind and causes me to measure and stretch my faith. “9 Again, I tell you truly that if two of you on the earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by My Father in heaven”
There is indeed something special when a few or more Christians gather in the unity of the Holy Spirit, in the name of God, in the midst of Jesus. Let’s count this as precious and make the most of these opportunities for God’s glory.
Think of a Billy Graham crusade, which I have participated in twice as I recall and have watched no less than a half dozen times on television. They all include prayer, preaching the gospel, music and a call to action. Billy always said prayer was the most important key. What is prayer? A person or persons seeking and sharing their thoughts and feelings from their soul and spirit to God in a distant yet intimate harmonious communion.
Yet Billy’s crusades were very organized and planned. They promoted a call to action using every effective means available. They primed the pump so living water might flow in abundance.
There is also other means of tapping into wonder of omniscience and power beyond physical and natural science than classic Christianity, some good, some neutral and some evil. These include affirmations, masterminds, guided imagery, visualization, goal fixation, unified missions, meditation, cognitive therapy, NLP and ones I personally would consider evil including: seances, alignment with demonic forces, occult practices, witchery, hallucinating drugs, negative thinking, and the like.
God created humans in His image as we are taught in the first part of Genesis. God gave many amazing attributes and like most powerful things, they can be used for good or evil.
In the end, what matters most is not whether we won or lost but how we played the game of life and honored our Creator with our time, talents and treasure. The wins are a byproduct of this and hopefully significant gains are realized.
We can accomplish a certain amount alone in our prayer life and in our work/service life but we can do more when two or three are gathering in a spirit of harmony and striving to reach a common worthwhile purpose.
Heavenly Father, help me seek You and Your glory with ALL my heart, soul, mind and strength along with others interdependently.
In my marriage, in my family, in my work teams, in my church and my social groups may we gather in Your name and causes dear to You.
You are amazingly wonderful.
From woe is me; to send me; then us – as Isaiah went forth.