We have many different Christian denominations represented at our school. But we have a statement of faith that focuses on Jesus as the only source of our salvation and the Bible as the only perfect Word of God. We encourage students to study the Bible and know what they believe and why. But we will disagree with each other on some minor issues and that is okay. As Jesus tells us in today’s passage, if two people or groups are both serving the Jesus of the Bible, then they are on the same spiritual team.
The Text (Mark 9:38-41)
38 Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.”
39 But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. 40 For he who is not against us is on our side. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.
Background and Observations
• John’s question was probably prompted by Jesus’ words that He just spoke in verse 37. Jesus had just told His disciples to receive one another in love, but apparently they were having a conflict with another group of disciples that also ministered in Jesus’ name.
• Christians will have conflicts with each other at times. The important thing is that we work through our differences peacefully and put our focus on our unity as brothers and sisters in Christ.
• We should have supportive attitudes towards others who are serving Christ. When we help people who are doing the Lord’s work, we are doing the Lord’s work, too.
Questions to Think About
1. Do you have any conflicts with other Christians right now? Pray for a forgiving attitude and look for an opportunity to make peace with them soon.
2. Are there any Christians in your life that you might be able to help or join with in serving the Lord? Maybe you can talk with them about ways that you can work for Jesus together.