Context First – Matthew 18:20

Last Friday at our Joint Fellowship night the person that opened us up in prayer said something that I found a bit distracting. I totally understand where he was coming from and what his intentions were, but I’m just naturally picky with biblical references.

He used Matthew 18:20 as a verse of fellowship in numbers, thanking God that he would be with us in this time of unity.

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

Maybe you’ve even heard this verse used this way before! It’s a reassuring thought, to know that as we are gathered in fellowship under one body, in one room, that Jesus is watching over and continuously blessing us. It’s not surprising that this verse is used in the context of a fellowship or gathering.

Now read Matthew 18:15-17.

“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.”

Once we put the verse back into it’s original context it’s pretty clear that this verse is referring to Church discipline and rebuke. OOPS. Laughed a bit to myself, mentioned it to a couple others, and moved on.

Not something to make a big deal of, just something to point out.

Michael “Pretty sure Jesus is always with us” Ru


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