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Mark 9:38-42 – Those Not Against Us Are For Us

|| Luke 9:49, 50

MK9:38 Now, [the apostle] John said to Jesus: “Lord, we saw a man[1] exorcising demons in your name, and we forbid him because he does not follow us.” MK9:39 But, Jesus said: “Do not forbid him![2] For there is no person who will do a miracle in my name that will easily speak evil of me.[3] MK9:40 Because the person who is not against us is for us. MK9:41 Whoever will give you even a cup of water to drink in my name – and because you are Christ’s – I tell you this truth: such a person will not lose the reward.[4] MK9:42 On the other hand, whoever stumbles one of these ‘little ones’ that believe in me,[5] it would be better for them to have a millstone hung around the neck and then be thrown into the sea![6]

*

[1] We saw a man: Likely an itinerant Jewish exorcist who had begun using the name of Jesus. However, the man was not known to be an actual disciple of Jesus, or at least not manifesting himself as a member of the Nazarene’s personal followers. When the apostles see this man using the name of Jesus they want the person to join their following and so try to prevent him from using Christ’s name.

[2] Do not forbid him: Or, prevent, do not stop, do not try to stop.

[3] A miracle in my name that will easily speak evil of me: It is human nature to want to think that one belongs to an inclusive club or group which is superior to all others. Those not part of this select group are viewed judgmentally. Jesus cautions his apostles – already struggling with attitudes of superiority – not to judge or interfere with others who do their own work in the name of Jesus. It will be left to Christ to judge whether others were actually “workers of lawlessness.” [Matthew 7:21-23] Compare something similar in Numbers 11:28. It should be kept in mind that it is most likely this person observed by the apostles was a Jew and already a member of the nation of Israel, God’s own People. It would not be until Pentecost that God’s Spirit would be removed from the fleshly Jews and placed upon the Church of Christ.

[4] Such a person will not lose the reward: Jesus is not saying that a person who only gives one of the apostles a drink of water will receive that reward saved for the Saints. Such a person with a kindly attitude does open up the opportunity to one day listen to such apostles and becoming a member of the congregation that Christ forms. On the matter of judgment research the word in Matthew and Romans. [See notes on Matthew 12:25-37.]

[5] Stumbles one of these ‘little ones’ that believe in me: Or, offends, fall. The Greek is SCANDALISE. Jesus means those of his disciples who have become as ‘little children’ in their disposition and actions. Jesus will go on to discuss in more detail what he means by “stumbles.”

[6] Millstone hung around the neck and then be thrown into the sea: That is, killed by others. Jesus will go on to mention an outcome much more severe – Gehenna.

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Preceding

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:1-8 – The Transfiguration

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:9-13 – Elijah Has Come

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:14-24 – Help Me Where I Need Faith

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:25-29 – Why Could We Not Expel It?

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:30-32 – Foretells Resurrection

Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:33-37 – Who is Greater?

Matthew 12:22-30 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: the Charge of Demonism

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Related

  1. The Church of Radical Denial
  2. Worth Our Salt Sermon on Mark 9: 38-50
  3. Be the Salt (Mark 9:38-50) Sunday School Lesson and Activities
  4. Blunt Words from Jesus
  5. Tribal Counsels
  6. For, Against and Undecided
  7. Cut It Off!
  8. Daily Devotion – whoever gives you a cup of water to drink
  9. God’s Reward Is Sure

Comments on: "Mark 9 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: Mark 9:38-42 – Those Not Against Us Are For Us" (3)

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