“Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man 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. “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.”
Not One of Us
The disciples were seemingly concerned about Jesus’ ministry. They believed the man driving out demons was exercising an authority that wasn’t rightly his. Unfortunately, the disciples were more concerned about their privileged position.
Jesus needed to correct his disciples, and there are times I need the same correction. It is easy to look at others outside of my circle of contacts and be suspicious of them. They may not worship the way I do. They may not have the same practices I have. They may not use the same hymnal and Bible translation I do. So, I come to the conclusion the disciples did, they are not one of us.
Jesus’ lesson makes me rethink my conclusion. The man who was driving out demons did it by the power of Christ. Jesus recognized him as one of his believers. Otherwise the Lord’s command to not stop the man would have been quite different.
Jesus focused on the importance of doing work “in his name.” I will need to always practice everything the Bible teaches about unity with other believers, but when believers work in the name of Jesus and for the rescue of souls through faith in him, instead of stopping or silencing them, I can appreciate the good that God accomplishes through them.
They teach about Jesus. They proclaim the good news of the salvation that Jesus won by his death on the cross. They lead sinners to know the peace of God’s forgiveness through their Savior. And the Word of God that they spread in the name of Jesus accomplishes God’s gracious will—the saving of souls.
O gracious Savior, you died to make me yours. Lead me to praise you for all who put their trust in you and appreciate all who are dedicated to proclaiming your saving name. Amen.
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