John said, Master, we saw a man driving out demons in Your name and we commanded him to stop it, for he does not follow along with us. But Jesus told him, Do not forbid [such people]; for whoever is not against you is for you. Luke 9:48 & 50 [AMP]
Today, I was going back through these latest chapters of reading in Luke just to re-read in a line straight through. Sometimes this is really helpful in seeing something in the greater context of a book of the bible and other times, something will jump out at me that I had missed before. Today was one of those days.
This small passage comes as the disciples are asking Jesus who the greatest will be among them. Jesus pulls a little child up next to Himself and says, “Anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf welcomes me, and anyone who welcomes me also welcomes my Father who sent me. Whoever is the least among you is the greatest.” Humility and Meekness are permeated through Jesus’ teaching. Pride, over and over, is condemned. It becomes clear that our Pride is one of the greatest sinful/evil behaviors we can commit and will quickly drive us away from the peace and comfort of the Living God.
To this point, John then asks the question in the passage at the top of this post. For these disciples it was not enough that this man should be able to do in the name of Jesus what they had so recently and so conspicuously failed to do (In verse 40 the disciples has failed to cast out an evil spirit in a boy). He had to ‘follow with them’. This has been the error of Christians in every age, and it is interesting to see it in the very first generation of Jesus’ followers. In this one little passage we see a uniting that comes from being united against evil. Jesus admonishes the disciples that essentially, we are all vessels for the Lord to do His work. When there are others levied in the fight against evil, they are with us.
I think this also translates over into things like churches or worship that happen to be more ‘Charismatic’ than you might feel comfortable with. There is sometimes an ‘us versus them’ mentality when it comes to talking about these differences. I am learning that a heart of judgement is also a dangerous prideful and self-righteous position. I may see things differently or may even feel uncomfortable with a behavior in prayer or worship – I don’t need join or repeat that behavior but I also should not condemn it either (unless it is indeed unbiblical).
I’ll finish with this. When the Ark of the Covenant was brought back into Jerusalem, David danced and did some, what appeared to be inappropriate, worship to the Lord in rejoicing of the return of the Ark. After this amazing worship of the Lord and rejoicing about the Ark, “David returned to bless his household. But Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, “How the king of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord—and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes.” 2 Samuel 6:20-22