Numbers 32-34 Mark 9:30-50
“But Jesus said, ‘Don’t stop him, because anyone who uses my name to do powerful things will not easily say evil things about me. Whoever is not against us is with us. I tell you the truth, whoever gives you a drink of water because you belong to the Christ will truly get his reward.’” (Mark 9:39-41)
The disciples were shocked. They were walking by a crowd and realized that the guy in the center was casting out demons using the name of Jesus – and he wasn’t part of their group. Well, they gave him what for and told him to stop. He wasn’t part of their group. He hadn’t paid the licensing fee to be able to use the name of Jesus to cast out demons. Perhaps they expected plaudits from Jesus for rebuking that pretender. Jesus set them straight, though. He let them know that if someone was using His name to perform miracles, then that person was probably on the right track. It would be hard for him to invoke the name of Jesus to perform miracles, and then badmouth Him.
Jesus realized that the day was coming when His people would need to work together. If they got caught up in internal squabbles, trying to “patent” their relationship with Jesus, they would have great problems in the days to come. That message holds true today as well. A lot of our denominations have the great burden of being the only ones to believe the “right way,” when all other denominations have gone astray. Rather than seek ways to work together to deal with the issues of our world, they’re engaged in internecine conflict that will destroy themselves and other Christians. Given that there are no perfect denominations, perhaps we as Christians need to welcome the work of others who claim the name of Jesus and find ways to work together. Either dangerous days are ahead for Christians and we’ll need to band together to survive, or, we’ll die before those times happen and spend the rest of eternity with those who are “wrong” and we might as well start working together now.
Lord, You said that all men would know that we’re Your disciples because of our love for each other. Help me do a better job of loving my fellow Christians through all circumstances.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.