Reading the Word
Mark 9:38–41 (ESV)
38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
Parallel Text: Luke 9:49-50
Understanding and Applying the Word
In the previous verses, the disciples argued about who was the greatest among them. In our passage for today, they reflect a mentality that they are an exclusive group and anyone that is not one of them must not be worthy. They saw someone casting out demons in the name of Jesus. Their response was to try to stop him because he was not one of them.
Jesus’ response to the disciples is one that we need to hear today. Those who minister in the name of Jesus are not enemies, but allies. Those who serve and minister to fellow believers because they are believers prove that they too belong to Christ. Churches can sometimes develop a mindset that believers in other churches are second class believers or not truly believers at all. If we are not careful, we can develop a mindset that thinks that only our own small group of believers is doing it right and others need to join us if they are to please Christ.
Praise God that there are fellow believers and ministries all over the world who are proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ to the world. They are our allies, not our enemies. They are our brothers and sisters in Christ. Let us be an encouragement to one another as we work together for the glory of our great God!
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