Thursday, January 19, 2017
Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them - Matthew 18:20
We tend to place too much emphasis on crowds, on statistics, on the size of a particular group or movement. We, every one of us, are too easily influenced by the "mob mentality" -- the desire to be doing what everyone else is doing and going in the same direction everyone else is going.
But God is not concerned about numbers or popular approval. As Jonathan observed before facing an entire army with only his armor-bearer beside him: "there is no restraint to the LORD to save by many or by few" (1 Samuel 14:6). For this reason the sixteenth century preacher John Knox contended, "A man with God is always in the majority."
Here Jesus promises his presence in even the smallest gathering in his name. He is just as much interested in the struggling church plant as he is in the megachurch. He is just as present and active in the small prayer meeting as he is in the Christian conference that fills a stadium.
The context of this passage, it is important to note, is a gathering for the sake of ironing out personal differences and possible offenses in the church. So Jesus is not just present when we feel the emotional high of singing praises; he is also present in the nitty-gritty work of personal admonitions and church discipline.
Jesus is concerned about people, but he is not anxious about numbers. Jesus will bless the smallest group that is faithfully seeking his glory and obeying his Word.