One of the very famous teachings of Yeshua that I believe gets misapplied in the Christian church today is the following:
Mat 18:20: “For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there in the midst of them.””
Most times I have seen this used (and applied it myself in the past) has to do with unity in prayer. If two or three people are gathered in prayer in the name of Jesus, that he is somehow spiritually among them empowering their prayer for success.
Well, as much as I am in favor of unity in prayer, unfortunately that is not what this verse is about.
If you were to read that whole passage in Matt. 18, beginning in verse 15 (actually, if you include vss. 12-14 as well, those actually begin the context of what follows), you will find that the “two or three” has to do with two or three witnesses who are brought to lovingly confront a brother in the congregation who is sinning.
This is a Torah principle right out of Deut. 19:15 that Yeshua pulls straight over into the new covenant congregations; people holding one another accountable for their actions within the body of believers. When those “two or three” meet together with the wayward believer, it is just as if Yeshua himself were present to convict and restore him. This is a classic Semitic practice that unfortunately gets lost on our culture today.
So, once again, please understand I am not against people praying together in unity, but let’s keep the Bible passages we have in their context so that we can use them as God intended for their very practical and necessary purposes.