Archive for the ‘Small Groups’ Tag

Where Two or Three are Gathered

Jesus said that where two or three of us come together in his name, he will be there. (Matt. 18:20)

I used to often read this in a very minimalist way. It filtered through my mind something like this: “well, if two or three people is all you can get then I guess that’s okay, don’t be too upset, I’ll be there even though it looks like a pitifully small gathering.”

But what if Jesus meant this saying in a very maximal way? Perhaps it should be read like this: “where there are two or three, that’s where you’ll find me; I’m not as interested in crowds of thousands. The big crowds look impressive, and have a certain religious appeal – but I assure you, the stadium events have received their reward in full. If you really want to see me, gather in groups of just two or three and watch what happens.”

These two ways of reading what Jesus is saying have especially struck me as I look at the resurrection accounts again this Easter.

In each of the four gospels the first, powerful appearance of the risen Jesus is to just one, two, or three people. Later, when he appears to larger groups the appearances are often tinged with doubt – as with Thomas in the Gospel of John or on the mountain in Galilee in Matthew’s account.

Where is the risen Jesus? By his own account, and by the witness of the apostles, he is to be found most powerfully in the smallest of communities.

~ Jonathan Stepp

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