There’s a moment in the New Testament when Jesus’ disciples freak out because somebody they’ve never met is driving out demons in the name of Jesus. They turn tattle-tale and run to Christ, and he reminds them that the “team” is bigger than just the twelve apostles.
Why did this happen? It’s not like the disciples were anti-driving-out-demons. It’s not like they were anti-using-Jesus-name. In fact, out of all the people in Judea at that time, they were probably the biggest fans of both demon-driving and Jesus name.
But it wasn’t what the man was doing or how he was doing it that posed the problem. It was that they didn’t expect him to be doing it.
The disciples had, at this point, already become something of a tribe. They were the ones Jesus trained, sent, and taught. They were the ones they had seen drive out demons. So when there was someone else, that was different, and that different seemed wrong.
It’s an all-too-common human reaction. Different = Wrong. We protect ourselves from what makes us uncomfortable by rejecting things we don’t understand. We even go so far as to ridicule or demean those things - all in an effort to make very sure we don’t have to interact with what makes us uncomfortable. The problem, of course, is that how we feel isn’t the same as what is true.
Mark 9:41 | I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward.
- Pastor Kent Reeder