The Real Meaning of Where Two or More are Gathered

Where two or more are gathered is most commonly quoted by people when they want to agree with someone in prayer.

What comes to your mind when you hear, “Where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I with them”? Many people have asked, and it can be challenging to understand without some explanation. So, let’s get started! 

This blog post will explore what this Bible verse means and how we can apply it to our lives. We will also examine other Bible verses about “where two or more are gathered.”

Where Two or More are Gathered

What is the Meaning of Where Two or More are Gathered in the Bible?

We can find the verse “where two or more are gathered” in Matthew 18:19-20. In this verse, Jesus talked to His disciples about how they should handle conflict resolution within the church. 

He says, “Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

So, what does this verse mean? Let’s take a closer look at its meaning and what it is trying to tell us.

Where Two Or More Are Gathered: What It’s Not.

Before diving into what the verse “when two or more are gathered” means, it’s essential to understand what it does not mean.

If two people agree on something, God will do it.

Where two or more are gathered in My name, the Bible verse does not say that it will automatically happen if two people agree on something. That’s not only not what this verse is about, but it’s also not good theology. This kind of theology can be difficult and lead to spiritual abuse. It is essential to approach this in prayer and ask for God’s wisdom.

To say that God is there when two or more people get together.

We usually take Matthew 18:20 out of context. The phrase above is what church leaders often use in a prayer meeting when the number of people at a church service or event is lower than expected. They use the verse to reassure church members that Jesus is still there, even though they are only a small group in prayer.

Usually, it goes like this: “God, we thank you that whenever two or more people gather in your name, you are there with us.”

It sounds good. But when you start to think about what this means, it’s easy to see that it’s not true.

If God is only there when there are two or three gathered, what happens when we pray ourselves? What happens to our prayers, then? The Lord wouldn’t be there if only one person existed, right? 

Indeed, no one thinks that (I hope). But when we read this passage this way, it seems to say the same.

Where Two Or More Are Gathered: What It Really Means

Now that we’ve explored what the Bible verse “where two or more are gathered” does not mean let’s look at what it really means.

Matthew 18:19–20 gives a message of hope. Jesus says, “Follow these steps and don’t worry about what will happen or how others may perceive it.

Are you curious why it is a message of hope? Let’s take a closer look at what Matthew 18:20 means.

What does the Bible Say about Where Two or More are Gathered?

Let’s look at what the rest of the Bible says about this topic now that we’ve explored the meaning of the Bible verse “where two or more are gathered together in My name”. 

Matthew 18:19–20 Explained

When reading the Bible, one of the easiest and most important things is to look at it in its original setting. Read the whole chapter – what comes before and what comes after.

When we do this, the meaning of Matthew 18:20 becomes obvious. The problem is that most people skip this step and then misuse the whole passage.

Let’s look at what comes before “where two or more are gathered in my name” and the other verses related to it. 

Matthew 18:15-17

If your brother or sister does something wrong, talk to them about it. You have won them over if they listen to you. But if they don’t listen, bring along one or two more people because two or three witnesses can prove the offense committed. If they still don’t listen, tell the church and decide upon it. If the church doesn’t work, treat them like non-Christians or tax collectors. 

It’s not about God being at every church service

Jesus is telling people how to deal with problems with other people. He is talking about church discipline. It explains very clearly and in a beneficial way what to do when things go wrong.

Deuteronomy 19:15–19

In Matthew 18:15–20, Jesus uses words from verses in the Old Testament. It is related to Deuteronomy 19:15–19.

Deuteronomy 19 says that two or three witnesses must agree on a charge against someone for it to be valid.

To bring a charge, you need two or three witnesses because one person could make up a lie. Jesus makes part of this old law part of the new law. He is teaching His people how to deal with disagreements so His church can stay strong.

In the end, the Old Testament protects the people. 

If you don’t pay attention to the rest of the passage, you can make Matthew 18:20 mean something different, leading to lousy religion that hurts people. When we look at what Jesus said, on the whole, we can see what God’s Word means.

Matthew 18:21-35 Explained

Just after the famous verse, when two or three are gathered together in My name, the Lord talks about forgiveness. Jesus understands that in situations where there is conflict, offense breeds quickly when we do not forgive.

Peter approaches Jesus to ask how many times a person should forgive. Christ proceeded by telling him the story of a man who received forgiveness from his master and canceled his debt but did not forgive the man who owed him when he stepped out. He even assaulted the man and threw him out to prison until he could pay him back.

The servants saw what the man did and told the master. The master called him wicked and asked the jailers to torture the man.

Jesus tells us that we should forgive seventy times, a biblical command.

The last verse is equally important as the rest of the story. “This is how my heavenly Father will treat you unless you forgive your brother or sister from your heart.” Matthew 18:35.

This verse reminds us that we need to ask for forgiveness constantly and that we should also forgive others when they have wronged us. It’s not a coincidence that this verse is just after the “Where two or more are gathered in my name” verse.

Where Two or More are Gathered

Bible Verses Related to Where Two or More are Gathered

Let’s look at some related Bible verses to “where two or more are gathered together in My name”.

“God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world but to save the world through him.” John 3:16-17

“Do two walk together unless they have agreed to do so?” Amos 3:3

“That all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in your actions toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so you may know how to answer everyone.” Colossians 4:2-6

“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles and run and not grow weary. They will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31

How to Apply Where Two or More are Gathered Today?

Here’s how we can apply this Bible verse in our lives.

Follow how Jesus did things.

Jesus has given us this plan, and we should follow it. That should be pretty clear. Sadly, I’ve seen a lot of churches ignore these handy instructions.

When we disagree with someone in the body of Christ, we should do these things. Why? So that the church can be strong and stay together. We get chaos and a lack of unity when we ignore this process.

It is essential to imitate Christ, and no church or Christian should ignore it. We need to be good stewards of God’s presence.

Don’t try to avoid hard conversations.

Most of us would rather not fight. But the truth is that when we avoid people with problems, we only worsen things.

There is a reason why Jesus talks to the person. When we don’t deal with a problem, it grows. We cannot simply ignore it; we must deal with it head-on. Jesus promises to be with us in every season.

It hurts, but you need to do it. Don’t try to avoid the hard conversations.

Count on Jesus being there.

Jesus says He will be with us if we do what He tells us to do. We’re not in this by ourselves.

When we are having a complicated conversation, it can be easy to forget that the Holy Spirit is with us. Just taking a few minutes to remember and put our trust in God can change what comes next.

Trust in God and what He is doing. He will give you everything you need to get through what’s coming.

Where Two or More are Gathered

In Summary

In conclusion, “Where two or more are gathered in My name” means that Jesus will be with us when we follow His plan for dealing with conflict. We need to have hard conversations, and we can’t ignore problems. But we don’t have to do it alone; God will be with us every step of the way. God bless!

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Alex Shute
EDITOR
Alex Shute, MBA
Alex is a family man and entrepreneur based in Los Angeles. His passion is to serve the global Church and bring people of diverse backgrounds together to learn & grow.