Not Against Us
38 ‘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.’
39 ‘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, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
When you watch a professional sports game, the fans are totally passionate about their team. They will spend money on jerseys, buy tickets to watch and sometimes even travel to watch their team play in their opponent’s home field. Some will paint their face to match the team color and wear some crazy outfit to be seen by the cameras. It is easy for the home team to spot the opponent’s fan as they will not wear the same team colors as the rest of the home team.
When the disciples of Jesus saw someone who was driving out demons in Jesus name, they wanted them to stop. Perhaps John wanted only Jesus to do it or only those who were part of their group. Jesus made the point that this other person driving out demons also believed in the power of Jesus. It’s a good point for all of us not to think too highly of ourselves that we think we belong to a group that is exclusive and are the only answer. There are others who are not part of our group in another part of our city or another part of the world who want to be great disciples of Jesus and to seek the same purpose that we do.