WORD STUDY – AGREEMENT
Matthew 18:19-20: “Again I say unto you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there I am in their midst.”
“Where two or three are gathered together to study Torah, the Divine Presence is in their midst.” The Talmud
Agreement – Greek: sympahonesosin – to be in harmony, in perfect tune Aramaic – shwa: to spread, wipe smooth, be equal, and cover the entire surface.
The expression: “Where two or three are gathered together…” was a very well known and common expression among the Jewish people of that day.
The first question that comes to my mind when I read Matthew 18:19-20 is why we need two people to give a request to the Lord. Is not one sufficient? Is God more easily persuaded if two people are praying for something rather than one? Doesn’t that contradict what it tells us in James 5 that the prayer of a (that is one) righteous man can avail much? Then Jesus says where “two or three are gathered together in my name there I am in the midst.” I am alone right now, does that mean that Jesus is not in my midst? I read about a persecuted Christian who spent months in solitary confinement. According to this verse, you need at least two people present for God to be in your midst. Does that mean that this person suffering for the name of Jesus would not have Jesus in his midst because he is lacking a companion. Does that mean his prayers will go unanswered because he has no one agreeing with him?
Matthew 18;19-20 is not as a formula to get our prayers answered but a teaching by Jesus as to the importance of praying according to His will or “in His name.” The reason the Talmud says “Where two or three are gathered together…” and most likely why Jesus used this common expression is that when you study Scripture alone you may interpret a passage wrongly, hence the Talmud encourages you to have a study partner. If the two studying together disagree a third person is called in to arbitrate. Jesus is saying the same can happen when you pray. You may make a request to God that is not in His will. A second or third person may be needed to help you understand God’s will in a matter so you truly pray “in Jesus name” or in accordance with his will.
The word agreement in the Greek is symphonesosin. You can guess the English word that comes from that – symphony which means to be in tune, in perfect harmony. A wind instrument entirely different than a stringed instrument, when in tune with each other, form a harmonic sound. So too, when two or three people from different backgrounds are in tune to God’s will, Jesus is in their midst or in tune with them. The Aramaic word gives even more detail, it is shwa which means to spread and wipe smooth. It is like spreading butter on toast or spreading concrete, you keep running the knife over and over it until it is smooth over the entire surface. So too when you come together to pray, you keep going over and over the request until you are all equal in thought, desire, and in harmony with God. Then when you make your request to God, Jesus is in the middle of that request, in other words, He is the bread that is entirely covered with your request that is according to His will. Such a request will be granted.
WORD STUDY – AGREEMENT