I continue to blog on chapter three of my book. Here’s a popular verse. The usual scavenged meaning says that this verse is really about prayer meeting and how Jesus promises to stay within a circle of two or three. In other words, as long as they’re more than one person praying, Jesus will be there. How about when there’s only one? Will Jesus be there? Would two people be enough to form a church and then call that a gathering with Jesus’ presence?
This is the kind of superficial and superstitious meaning that has unbelievers in stitches rolling on the floor. I don’t blame them for dying of laughter either because I usually join them. This verse has nothing to do with prayer meeting. If we read the context, we’ll surely find the purpose for such a meeting. The “two or three” are the witnesses of wrongdoing and are praying and meeting about what to do with the situation (Matthew 18.16). Jesus’ is not promising anything. He is warning about the dire consequences of making a decision without looking closely at the fact that Jesus is watching over the process. A promise is different than a warning.
Yet, this interpretation still does not hit at the heart of the matter because most of the text deals with the importance of the little ones in the kingdom (Matthew 18.1-14). Jesus did not switch topic just because he had an ADD attack. Think about how the present meaning fits with the teaching about little ones. I dare say that most of the passage is really not focused on church discipline but on the little ones because Jesus was answering the initial inquiry of who the greatest in the kingdom is. If our interpretation has nothing to do with the little ones, we have still gone adrift.
As I always say, the texts are not at fault. The interpreter is!