Using the Name of Jesus

49John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.”

50But Jesus said, Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.

Luke seems to have decided this was a good place to put in a bunch of short stories and quotes. At first glance many of these can seem to have very little meaning, and this is one of those. I’ve often wondered why Luke (well, really it is the Holy Spirit who inspired Luke to write this down)  bothered with this.

But this morning, it suddenly has value. It’s still a very simple message. “Anyone who is not against you is for you.”  Listen to that. I know I have seen people who weren’t interested in helping me with a project or need in my life and being against me. Jesus is telling me I’m wrong. It’s just that simple. If someone isn’t actively working against, in other words they just are on the sidelines, they are NOT against me. I shouldn’t be angry, or feel hurt, or turn against them or any of that. The are for me, not against me! They are an ally.

Now let’s take this one more step. For someone to NOT be for me, they have to be actively going against me. So the default position in life is that everyone I meet is actually an ally (friend, companion, someone interested in my success). Also, the default position is that I am to be an ally to others, at least until I know they are against my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Wow, I just gained BILLIONS of allies! How cool is that?  

Lord, forgive me for the times I have badly treated, or even thought ill of, someone because I didn’t see they were an ally. More importantly, help me to be a good ally to others. 


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