Matthew 18:20 .. 2 or 3 gathered.
This scripture verse is one of the most cliched, or what I call “Christian-ese” verses of all. People act as if they go to the grocery store with another church-goer then Jesus is there to push the cart for them. While I know without fail that the Holy Spirit of YHWH resides in me, I can not for a minute think that He has concern for trip to the lumber yard with Bob & Joe.
As with all scripture we must take this verse in the context in which it was both written and spoken. To do this we must back up to the 15th verse of the same chapter and see what it is that the Saviour is talking about.
15 Moreover (in addition to) if thy brother (related person in our Lord, Jesus) shall trespass (to morally fail) against thee, go and tell him his fault (rebuke, reprove) between thee and him alone: if he shall hear (to engage the mind to comprehend what is being heard) thee, thou hast gained (win over to righteousness) thy brother.
Yeshua/Jesus is talking about a person that has transgressed the commands of YHWH and how you can lovingly bring him to right understanding of the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Proverbs 9:8 “Reprove not a scorner (one who hates YHWH), lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.”
2 Timothy 4:2 “Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.”
2 Timothy 3:16 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
Reminder: THE ONLY scriptures in Timothy’s day was Torah!
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more (brothers, followers of YHWH), that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
“In the mouth” begins a direct quote of Torah. Deuteronomy 17:6 “At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death.” Here again Yeshua/ Jesus is affirming the Torah!
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church (all the community of believers): but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen (pagan, idolater) man and a publican. (tax-collector, Roman influenced)
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind (to pledge to give oneself in marriage) on earth shall be bound (considered joined in marriage) in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose (divorce) on earth shall be loosed (separated) in heaven. This is reference to the bride of Christ and her observation of Torah.
Yeshua /Jesus is telling us to be mindful of where our allegiances lie. This is NOT about giving authority to the disciples to change doctrines, it is fully about HOW YOU LIVE YOUR LIFE. Whether or not you are fully devoted to YHWH or to the world.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree (harmonious in the faith of YHWH) on earth as touching (in company with) any thing that they shall ask (required), it shall be done for them (according to) of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name (in the authority of YHWH, according to His commands), there am I (The “am I” is the same as the “I am” in Exodus meaning “YHWH is”) in the midst of them.
The never changing, always faithful God of the universe is asking the people that call Him LORD to help one another in living never changing, always faithful lives!