Christ says that anyone who is for Him is not against Him.
The disciples didn’t understand this. And, many times, neither do we.
It’s no secret that Jesus gives encouragement to those who believe, and are on His side;
.. But, a warning to those who are against Him.
The lesson gives a message for us to decide whether or not we are going to be true followers of Christ.
The choice is (and always has been) ours. Jesus doesn’t force anyone to follow Him.
“In Your Name” – Are We For Jesus – Or Against Him? The Warning from Christ
John said to Him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us.”
But Jesus said, “Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.
For he who is not against us is for us.
For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward.
“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life crippled, than, having your two hands, to go into hell, into the unquenchable fire, [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.]
If your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life lame, than, having your two feet, to be cast into hell, [where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.]
If your eye causes you to stumble, throw it out; it is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye, than, having two eyes, to be cast into hell, where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.
“For everyone will be salted with fire.
Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again?
Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” – Mark 9:38-50 NASB
The Warning Concerning Our Attitudes
Excuses – I am guilty of them, just as you might be.
The disciples came to Jesus to tattle on a man doing miracles in His name, because they were jealous of him.
Yes, they were afraid that he would take away some of the glory and power they received for doing the same thing.
How about Us?
Are we helpful, or detrimental to doing the work of Christ?
Here are some of the reasons we might give for not entering into partnerships to help others in need.
- Not our denomination so, it’s not in our best interest to help.
- The situation involves people who we are not our type – different from us.
- “Just not the way we do things around here.“
Reread the above three statements and see if you have used any of them lately.
For me, the third one sometimes rings true. Since I am a type A person, I like things done a certain way, and in order. So, (shamefully), I complain about the way others are going about the work God gave them to do.
Who are We For? Are We For or Against Christ?
Jesus told the disciples; “.. he who is not against us is for us.“.
This means we should withhold our judgmental attitudes when projects arise. And, we should not condemn others who are providing for the needs of the sick, jobless or homeless – just because we don’t happen to agree with their methods.
Even without our own churches, we sometimes miss out on providing a much needed service because those within the group cannot agree on how it is to be done!
So, how can we change the way we think?
Although it is difficult to change attitudes, one way is to change our perspective.
Let’s look more at what needs doing. Next, pray and ask God if this is our call.
Then, we can help those who need our help – and, more importantly, who need to hear about God.
God has worked through many different groups and individuals in the past. You’ve read about them all through the Old Testament.
So, He can certainly do His will, even through “that group of people.”
How can we help? Are we willing to put aside our differences and do God’s will?
Love in Christ
If you would like to discover how to receive the love and life-changing experience of Jesus Christ, please take a moment to read this passage from John.