“For where two or three areÂ gathered in my name,Â there am I among them.” ~Matthew 18:20
There is comfort in these words for all who love to meet together for religious purposes. Â At every assembly for public worship, at every gathering for prayer and praise, at every missionary meeting, at every Bible reading, the King of Kings is present, Christ himself attends. Â We may often be disheartened by the small number who are present on such occasions, compared with the number of those who meet for worldly ends; we may sometimes find it hard to bear the taunts and ridicule of an ill-natured world, which cries like the enemy of old, “What are those feeble Jews doing?” (Nehemiah 4:2). Â But we have no reason for despondency: we may boldly fall back on these words of Jesus. At all such meetings we have the company of Christ himself.
There is solemn rebuke in these words for all who neglect the public worship of God and never attend meetings for any religious purpose. Â They turn their backs on the society of the Lord of lords; they miss the opportunity of meeting Christ himself. It is no good saying that he proceedings of religious meetings are marked by weakness and infirmity, or that as much good is got by staying at home as going to church: the words of our Lord should silence such arguments at once. Surely men are not wise when they speak contemptuously of any gathering where Christ is present.
~J.C. Ryle (pg. 164, Matthew: The Crossway Classic Commentaries)