49 John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”
This is a brief and interesting encounter between Jesus and his disciples. Another man had been imitating what he saw Jesus doing – deliverance – and he used the name of Jesus as his authority to do so. The disciples are concerned and they stop the man (seems likely the man may have been successful in his ministry?) Jesus is not concerned. Rather tells his disciples to stop, as the man is a friend not an enemy.
Seems this is a short lesson on unity. There is a principal here on being careful about shutting down or being negative about someone else’s ministry (or church) just because it’s a little different or because they are not apart of the church we attend. In the end its Jesus who is proclaimed, restoring lives and setting people free. We are all on the same team if this is the case.
Lord, I’m sorry where I have participated in criticising another’s ministry and pray that I will always be mindful of my words and actions towards those from different church’s and ministries, there is so much variety in your Body. I pray that I will always be mindful towards those who are different expressions of your Church.
Written by Suzie Hodgson