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."
— Mark 9:38
Isn't it amazing how quickly we can split up into our own little groups and begin to arrogantly do as a group what Jesus had just challenged his disciples not to do as individuals when he told them that the greatest must be a servant to all? (Mark 9:30-37) We all want to picture ourselves as "insiders" in the Kingdom of God—those who are righteously superior and correct. When others appear to be doing God's good work, we feel threatened rather than delighted. How shallow, how petty, and how unlike Jesus such arrogance is! God forgive us and change us from our petty ways.
Father in heaven, I love you. However, I have to admit that I frustrate myself with my own selfish and petty loyalties and pride. Even though I hate that trait in others, I need your help, Father, to hate it in myself and remove from my own heart. Please help me be more open just as your Son was while on the earth. In Jesus' name. 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
Patience and strength come from God. And I pray that God will help you all agree together the way Christ Jesus wants. Then you will all be joined together. And all together you will give glory (praise) to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Christ accepted you. So you should accept each other. This will bring glory to God.
But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good things for other people. This wisdom is always fair and honest.
Give each other a kiss of love when you meet. Peace to all of you that are in Christ.
1 Peter 5:14