by Dr. and Pastor, Eric Bargerhuff
Here then is where our often misunderstood verse finds its proper context. After establishing the church’s authority and heavenly sanction to take such action, Jesus promises his presence in a unique way. Here then is the passage in its entirety:
Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them. (Matthew 18:19-20)
Jesus is saying that whenever the church is pursuing and is involved in a reconciliation process with someone who has refused to repent, they can rest assured that God’s blessing is with them in their efforts. In other words, as the church renders judicial decisions on matters of right and wrong that are based on the truth of God’s Word, they should be confident that they are doing the right thing and that Christ himself is right there with them, spiritually present in their midst.
After all, he is the God of reconciliation. And he is the one who has commanded them to be agents of reconciliation as well. The church is acting on God’s behalf, and therefore has divine sanction as it seeks unity and asks for God’s blessing in something that is surely difficult. This then is the true meaning and context for the phrase “where two or three are gathered.” It is all about God’s presence in judicial matters of reconciliation.
The Most Misused Verses in the Bible by Eric J. Bargerhuff (pages 51-52)