Not Following Us?

Let’s see if I can keep it short and to the point today.   Looking at a quick couple of verses where a disciple is rebuked by Jesus.  Usually the disciple tripping over himself was Peter, poor Peter!!   But this time, we see the apostle a John, the life apostle, the self described disciple whom Jesus loved best, that John, he is the one says something silly and gets rebuked by Jesus for a change.

“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.”    We saw someone trying to do Jesus stuff.  He doesn’t follow with us.   He belonged to one of those groups that doesn’t baptize like we do.  He doesn’t cross himself right.  We cross ourselves like this, he by Counterflix” href=”#53577234″> crosses by Counterflix” href=”#53577234″> himself like this.  He doesn’t belong to us, he’s not part of OUR group, we wouldn’t even let him take communion with us.  We told him, no, you can’t be doing Jesus stuff, you can’t be doing ministry.  You’re not properly ordained, you’re not qualified, you don’t belong to our group.  You don’t do the Jesus stuff, we do.  Master, we put him in his place and told him to stop it.   

To which Jesus responds…

But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”” Luke 9:49-50 ESV

OH!   If we’re not careful, we want Jesus for us.  Then the debate starts about who gets to own Jesus.  We want Jesus for our group, not for those groups.  And we end up with narrow, small minded people in all of the different groups.  Any group you find, Catholics, Orthodox, Protestants, Anglicans, Charismatics, Evangelicals, in every group you will find people who really, sincerely think that Jesus only works with their group.  So you find the Catholic who cannot believe Jesus would work among the Protestants.  There’s a Charismatic who can’t believe God would work among the Anglicans.    The Orthodox who can’t believe Jesus would work among the Evangelicals…

But the opposite is also true.  Among all those groups, Catholics, Protestants,  Orthodox, Anglicans, Evangelical, Charismatics, you will find large hearted, large minded people, broad minded people who realize we all have our own traditions, but Jesus will work among them all….

We may not agree on everything.  But then again, we don’t agree with anyone on everything.  I’m not even sure I agree with me on everything. But at this point in our stories, we are finally making progress, gaining respect for one another, maybe loving one another a little more.  We are getting over the obsession with status and barriers, who great, who’s a loser. Who’s in and who’s out, who us, who’s them??   John and Peter and the rest of the disciples in this story, at this point, had not, but with the help of Jesus we are growing beyond the hostilities within the very by Counterflix” href=”#28292314″> body by Counterflix” href=”#28292314″> of Christ within the world.

Part of the irony of this story is that earlier in Luke Chapter 9 there had been a massive failure by the disciples in casting out a demon.  They had tried, and utterly failed.  “And behold, a man from the crowd cried out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. And behold, a spirit seizes him, and he suddenly cries out. It convulses him so that he foams at the mouth, and shatters him, and will hardly leave him. And I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not…””  Luke 9:38-41 ESV.  So they had found this man, he was casting out demons, no problem, in Jesus’ name.  But because he wasn’t with them, they set him straight and told him to stop it, after all, he didn’t by Counterflix” href=”#86549454″> cross by Counterflix” href=”#86549454″> himself right!! Never mind their own personal failures in casting out demons just a short time before.

You will never cast out many demons by sticking to us vs them because that’s the game demons play….

Jesus refuses to recognize boundaries constructed in hostility toward others.  Some may say he can’t go among the Catholics, he can’t go among the Protestants, he can’t move among the Anglicans, he can’t work with the Orthodox.  But Jesus is free to move among whomever he wants.  He does not recognize boundaries constructed in hostility toward others.

Jesus is free to move among all kinds of people because he doesn’t have the spirit of Satan.  “I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,” John 14:30 ESV.  The ruler of this world, the author of us vs them hostilities, he’s coming, but he’s got no part in Jesus.  Now there a truth for the day. What part does he have in us?

John Lewis

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