““Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone 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. “For 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.” Mark 9:38-40 NIV
I get John’s zeal to keep the miracle making ministry exclusive to them. I’d probably do the same. These “someone else” wasn’t a part of the band, wasn’t an authorized representative and certainly wasn’t walking along Jesus. However Jesus doesn’t give into control freaking mode, instead he says “do not stop him”... in other words leave him alone.
Why? The text seems to allude to the fact that God isn’t only the God of the 12 disciples. God isn’t only the God of the Christians. God is the God of the world. Now this is where things can get tricky because (hot take alert) I believe the “world” doesn’t need to acknowledge God in order for God to be their God.
I believe Jesus is the Son of God. He is the “first fruit” and the perfect representation of God. In fact I believe in order to get the best shot at God we just can’t do any better than Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life and no one comes to the Father except through him. Here’s the clincher thought: I also believe God is the God of those who do not align with my previous statements.
I know, I know we will probably disagree on this one, but please read the Scriptures and wrestle with your faith. I too used to be like John wanting to shut down anything and anyone that didn’t look what I was used to. It makes sense and I don’t blame John. It just seems as if God isn’t just the God of my understanding.
Let us dive into our faith and wrestle with it. As we engage with God we will only get closer and closer to Him.
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