One of the most misused passages in Scripture is Matthew 18:20. We want this passage to be about Christ showing up whenever two or more believers gather together. While this sentiment is true, that’s not the intent of the passage.
This passage is really about church discipline. The book of Matthew can be broken down into five sections, each with a specific focus. Matthew 18 is part of the fourth discourse, which focuses on how believers in a community should behave and interact with one another.
When Jesus speaks these words, he has just laid the foundation for how Christians should resolve conflict. Often, the words in this section are misused to disfellowship difficult people. But again, this is about restoring and not removing.
I think Jesus gives us these words because he understands how challenging and fragile church is. It’s hard to keep everyone happy and sometimes disagreements occur. This is why Jesus says, “I’ll be there.” Jesus will be there when disagreements occur. Jesus will be there during difficult seasons. This may not be a passage about Christ being present at a coffee meeting, but it is about Christ being with us during challenging circumstances.