The verse most often taken out of context…and that is okay

19 “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” (Matthew 18)

There is no scripture more taken out of context than this one. We often hear it as an encouragement to pray, to meet together, to gather. And there is truth in that. The idea that God is especially with us when we gather to pray is one I assent to and would want propagated.

However in context this verse is about speaking the truth to one another, even up to and including church discipline. I think Jesus understands that speaking the truth to one another is not easy. Correcting a brother or sister is not easy. Speaking up when someone has offended you is not easy.

But how else will growth come if we do not? How easy it is to store up offence if we never can pluck up the courage to say something. This is really the true power of this scripture.

When you need to speak the truth in love with the view to reconciliation, Jesus will be with you. Because He cares about church unity. He cares about growth, He cares about forgiveness. It may very well be the most sacred and holiest of ground when we care enough about each other to confront the offence.