What I’m Thinking: Loyalty and Jesus


Jesus was not dismayed by the news that somebody else was healing in his name. “Those who are not against us are for us,” he told his followers. You’re less likely to hear something like that today.

Here’s a transcript:

The Season of Creation has drawn to a close at Church of the Holy Cross. We’ve returned to the Revised Common Lectionary, and this week it’s the Gospel of Mark, the ninth chapter (Mark 9:38-50), that’s got me thinking.

John came to Jesus and told him that they’d found somebody casting out demons in Jesus’ name. They’d asked him to stop, because he wasn’t, after all, one of Jesus’ regular followers.

But Jesus replied, “Those who are not against us are for us.”

And he went on to say that they should never put a stumbling block in the way of another person on their road of faith. In fact, if a stumbling block that was part of their own body, part of their own integral selves, would cause them to stumble that that, in fact, was the thing to leave behind, whether it be a foot or an eye.

In these days when group loyalty gets so much value, I think this is a scandalous and timely word. It is about the effects – that demons get cast out, that people get healed, that the good news gets spread.

Those who are not against us are for us: an assumption of good will. An assumption of faith.

In Jesus’ day and in ours, a scandalous, challenging, and oh, so truthful message.

That’s what I’m thinking. I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on September 24, 2018

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