38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name. 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 Anyone who is not against us is for us. 41 What I’m about to tell you is true. Suppose someone gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah. That person will certainly not go without a reward.
“He’s not of our group!”
The passage before these verses reveals the heart of the disciples at this time, arguing about their status. Self importance was the focus, not the purpose and work of Jesus.
When quizzed by Jesus about these discussions, John seems to highlight their elite status as Jesus’ chosen disciples by mentioning someone outside their group performing exorcisms in Jesus name. Surely Jesus would condemn this activity?
Rather, Jesus points to the validity of this healing from demon possession because the man is “on our side”. God is acting through this man of faith. By his actions, the man is bringing honour to God. That is why Jesus does not want the disciples to stop him. Even the smallest actions in helping God’s people are something which bring honour to God (v41). Giving myself for God to use me is what it is about. I may be behind the scenes or up front, but do my actions honour him and support those doing his will.
Dear Jesus, use me today to bring you honour, by the way I think, speak and give my time. Help me to testify of your transforming power in my life. Amen
Written by Claire Moore