Then John said, "Teacher, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of a person. He is not one of us. So we told him to stop, because he does not belong to our group." Jesus said, "Don't stop him. Any person that uses my name to do powerful things will not soon say bad things about me."
— Mark 9:38-39
Good deeds done in the name of Jesus are a blessing no matter which group or which person is doing them. Our goal should be for people to be blessed and Jesus to be praised!
LORD God, my Abba Father, may your name be praised and lost people be reached, through the work of others I don't yet know. Help my heart rejoice in that work and those who do it. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
Then John said, "Teacher, we saw a man using your name to force demons out of a person. He is not one of us. So we told him to stop, because he does not belong to our group." Jesus said, "Don't stop him. Any person that uses my name to do powerful things will not soon say bad things about me. The person that is not against us is with us. I tell you the truth. If a person helps you by giving you a drink of water because you belong to the Christ, then that person will truly get his reward. "If one of these little children believes in me, and another person causes that child to sin, then it will be very bad for that person. It would be better for that person to have a millstone tied around his neck and be drowned in the sea. If your hand makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to lose part of your body but have life forever. That is much better than to have two hands and go to hell. In that place the fire never stops. If your foot makes you sin, cut it off. It is better for you to lose part of your body but have life forever. That is much better than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. If your eye makes you sin, take it out. It is better for you to have only one eye but have life forever. That is much better than to have two eyes and be thrown into hell. The worms that eat the people in hell never die. In hell the fire is never stopped. Every person will be punished with fire. "Salt is good. But if the salt loses its salty taste, then you can't make it salty again. So, be full of goodness. And have peace with each other."
Related Scripture Readings
Some people preach about Christ because they are jealous and bitter. Other people preach about Christ because they want to help. These people preach because they have love. They know that God gave me the work of defending the Good News. But those other people preach about Christ because they are selfish. Their reason for preaching is wrong. They want to make trouble for me in prison. I don't care if they make trouble for me. The important thing is that they are telling people about Christ. I want them to tell people about Christ. They should do it for the right reasons. But I am happy even if they do it for false and wrong reasons. I am happy because they tell people about Christ, and I will continue to be happy.
Is Apollos important? No! Is Paul important? No! We are only servants of God who helped you believe. Each one of us did the work God gave us to do. I planted the seed (teaching) and Apollos watered it. But God is the One who made the seed grow. So the person that plants is not important, and the person that waters is not important. Only God is important, because he is the One who makes things grow. The person that plants and the person that waters have the same purpose. And each person will be rewarded for his own work. We are workers together for God. And you are like a farm that belongs to God. And you are a house that belongs to God.
1 Corinthians 3:5-9
Those men who seemed to be important did not change the Good News message I tell people. (It doesn't matter to me if they were "important" or not. To God all men are the same.) But these leaders saw that God had given me a special work, the same as Peter. God gave Peter the work of telling the Good News to the Jews. But God gave me the work of telling the Good News to the non-Jewish people. God gave Peter the power to work as an apostle. Peter is an apostle for the Jewish people. God gave me the power to work as an apostle too. But I am an apostle for the people who are not Jews. James, Peter, and John seemed to be the leaders. They saw that God had given me this special grace (gift). So they accepted Barnabas and me. Peter, James, and John said, "Paul and Barnabas, we agree that you should go to the people who are not Jews. We will go to the Jews." They asked us to do only one thing—to remember to help the poor people. And this was something that I really wanted to do.