In Luke 9:49-50 we are taught a lesson of great importance in just two verses.
Master,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said, “for whoever is not against you is for you.”
We have previously discussed that the true church of Jesus Christ is one body with many members. Men have divided it into various denominations. There are even those who are so bold they claim their denomination is the “one true church”! Jesus taught us otherwise. His church is one but pride gets in the way.
The disciples obviously had a sense of group pride in this passage. The reason they gave for trying to stop the other man was “because he is not one of us.” You know, the special ones, the one true group that follows Christ. Sound familiar? I have heard similar claims or at the very least implied claims from various denominations.
Just prior to the two verses above the disciples were having a urinating contest about who was the greatest! See Luke 9:46-48. Jesus settled that dispute in a way that brought honor to God and taught his disciple’s humility. “For whoever is the least among all of you, he is the greatest.”
My approach is to examine myself and individuals to see if we are of the Christian faith. Do we believe in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in scripture? If so that person is my Christian brother or sister. From there we all may differ in our understanding of what some of the various parts of the Bible mean or how to best apply the teachings in our life.
When I examine myself I ask questions. Does what I believe add to or detract from the greatness of God? Does what I believe add to or detract from love towards my neighbor? Mark 12:30-31 If it honors God and produces the fruit of love towards my neighbor it cannot be evil. Matthew 7:19-20
Do not hinder anyone working in the name of Jesus Christ because of individual or group pride. God will reveal His judgment about all these things in His time. Acts 17:31 Most of all, love one another! “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” Matthew 12:25
Questions for us to individually consider:
What are we producing in our life? Are we striving to be a servant or a master? Are we tearing down the body of Christ or building it up?