Let me start off by saying that I feel like a moron. OK – now let’s set that aside and continue on.
I cannot count on my hands and feet how many times I’ve read the Bible from cover to cover – and this is not something I write to brag about because EQUALLY TRUE I cannot count how many times I’ve quoted Matthew 18:20 incorrectly…and this just now (literally – just before I’m typing this) came to light.
Maybe like me you’ve used these words from Jesus to talk about people meeting and greeting and doing life together. That it’s a joy when we can gather with two or three or more people because we know that in that space, when we gather in His name, the Holy Spirit fills us and glorifies God. And this is absolutely correct! BUT WITH THAT SAID…I’ve been taking it out of context – have you?
IN CONTEXT this is about Christ reminding his Disciples about sin. IN CONTEXT this is about working to resolve the pain and grief and brokenness that happens when we hurt someone, cause them to stumble, say harmful words. IN CONTEXT this is about recognizing when someone sins and going to them, with love and hope and restoration, as you point out the harm they’ve caused. IN CONTEXT this is about what you do when that person won’t listen, won’t recognize their sin and harm, and wants nothing to do with your act of LOVE in bringing up their sin. So what do you do when they want nothing to do with what you have had to say? Well, you bring one or two people with you and you go to that person and you all, with the love and hope of Christ, seek to bring harm to light.
“For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”