John answered, "Master, we saw a person using your name to force demons out of people. We told him to stop because he does not belong to our group." Jesus said to John, "Don't stop him. If a person is not against you, then he is for you."
— Luke 9:49-50
So often our pride manifests itself as group pride. The attitude is "if we don't do it, then it must not be important." The apostles want their little band of "Jesus followers" to be the primary bunch. Their thinking seems to be something like this: "He chose US, so surely there couldn't be anyone else as important?" Jesus, however, is not about building prideful little cliques. Instead, he wants to build groups of welcoming disciples who are thankful for all who are helping build the Kingdom of God. Jesus' point is very simple: if they're not against us, then they're for us! O my, if only we could have that attitude today.
Forgive us, humble us, and correct us, O Father, for our rivalry, petty spirit, divisiveness, pride, and arrogance. We have split your church into so many subgroups it is unconscionable. Work in your people with your Spirit to bring us back to a more faithful unity. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Today's Verses in Context
All the people were amazed at the great power of God. The people were still amazed about all the things Jesus did. Jesus said to his followers, "Don't forget the things I will tell you now: The Son of Man will soon be given into the control of some men." But the followers did not understand what Jesus meant. The meaning was hidden from them so that they could not understand it. But the followers were afraid to ask Jesus about what he said. Jesus' followers began to have an argument about which one of them was the greatest (most important). Jesus knew what they were thinking. So Jesus took a little child and stood the child beside him. Then Jesus said to the followers, "If a person accepts a little child like this in my name, then that person accepts me. And when a person accepts me, that person accepts the One (God) that sent me. The person among you that is the most humble—that person is a great (important) person." John answered, "Master, we saw a person using your name to force demons out of people. We told him to stop because he does not belong to our group." Jesus said to John, "Don't stop him. If a person is not against you, then he is for you."
Related Scripture Readings
"I pray for these men. But I am also praying for all people that will believe in me because of the teaching of these men. Father, I pray that all people that believe in me can be one. You are in me and I am in you. I pray that these people can also be one in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me.
I beg you brothers and sisters in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I beg that all of you agree with each other, so that there will be no divisions among you. I beg that you be completely joined together by having the same kind of thinking and the same purpose.
1 Corinthians 1:10
Did God's teaching come from you? No! Or are you the only ones that have received that teaching? No!
1 Corinthians 14:36