“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
“Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.
Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.”🙏Mark 9:38-41
Peace and good to all.
If I may share my insights on the above quoted gospel: Mark 9:38-41
“Whoever is not against us is for us”.
In the above gospel, while the man who was casting out the demon in the name of Jesus was not among the 12 disciples, we can surmise, however, that he was a believer. One who believes and accepts in the power of Jesus. For it is in and by the name of Jesus together with his faith in Him that worked so that people are healed. And, His disciples want Jesus to stop this man. Jesus rejected them.
Jesus prefers unity than exclusivity and this is an important point that believers should not forget. To understand and to respect and not to vilify someone because of his beliefs and religious affiliations. To encourage and to lead in the way to Jesus rather than discriminate; to encourage works that lead to the Kingdom of God. As long as people are not against what He stands for, they are allies in the building of God’s kingdom.
How many times in the past that some people have been rejected in helping a christian community because of their different religious affiliations ? Or how one group of Christians have denounced or have spoken against other groups of Christians? Or of one religious affiliation vilifying another religious group. That is bad, and, that is precisely what Jesus addresses in Mark 9:38-41. The “us” and “them” tendency of Christians to group together, is against the teaching of Jesus.
We should not lose sight of the breadth and the depth of the power of God to work on anyone who truly call on His name. The community of faith is broader than we may think. And, those who are doing work in Jesus’ name should not be prevented but embraced and encouraged.
We should focus upon the works Christ and not encourage division.
I have encountered people in the social media who are referred to as “nones”, they are those who are neither for nor against Christ and they have no formal religious beliefs or group affiliations. I show compassion to these people and greet them every morning with my daily post about the Word of God. Because I agree to the saying that as we try to spread the good news of the Lord, first of all, we should not turn people against Jesus. God be with us all.