Christians are gathering everywhere all the time. And as they do, they believe that the Lord Jesus is there with them too. But is He? Their belief is based on Scripture, no doubt. It was Jesus Himself who said: “Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I in the midst of them”. It seems that it is a sure thing that Jesus will be present at all our meetings, even when only two or three are in attendance.
I have come to see that these words of Jesus should not be taken as a kind of “blank cheque”, a promise that He would be present whenever (and however) we meet. Ask yourself: would you attend every meeting you are invited to knowing that in most of them you would not be honored but ignored? That’s the way many Christian meetings are, like it or not. The worse kinds are Church board meetings where attendees squabble, jostle for power, and push their own agendas rather than God’s agenda. (And they are supposed to be our leaders?) Before every meeting, they would pray and invite the Lord to lead them. Yet, interestingly, His point of view is hardly sought. Even if they did, it was neither minuted nor heeded. Then, they top it of with the cream of hypocrisy by thanking Him for having been with them.
Jesus will only attend meetings that are conducted “in His name”. What does that mean? To the Hebrew mind – Jesus and the apostles were Hebrews – a “name” is not only how one is known by: “Hi, my name is Joshua”, it also refers to one’s character and reputation. In the light of this, to gather in Jesus’ name is to gather in such a way that Jesus’ character is displayed and Jesus’ reputation is consequently boosted.