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Monica Leary Fall 2011

Hermeneutics Special Topic: He Who is Not Against Us is on Our Side (Mark 9:38-45)

In the book of Mark 9:38-45, we see the disciples complaining to Jesus about a man that they saw who was not one of the twelve disciples driving out evil spirits in his name. Jesus response was to not to stop him. For Jesus said, No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us. In other words, Jesus was saying that if a man was doing good by driving out evil spirits, then he must be good because Satan, representing the evil spirit, would not drive himself out. Even though the man may not have been in the company of Jesus and the twelve disciples, the mans work was consistent with Jesus authority and purpose and therefore he was on Jesus side. Jesus further reminds the disciples that they should not lose sight of their purpose and the reason they were called which was to serve and spread the gospel. He tells the disciples in Mark 9:41 that anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward. In this example, Jesus shows the disciples that the one giving the drink not only acts as a servant, but he does it in Jesus name, therefore it is good and he will be rewarded. Jesus reminds the disciples that since they are to be devoted to service, they should never do anything that would cause another to stumble. In Mark 9:42 Jesus says, And if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to be thrown

into the sea with a large millstone tied around his neck. Therefore, Jesus did not want the disciplines to oppose those that are against us, but rather encourage them so they will continue to do good in his name. We also see in Philippians 1:15-18 when Paul is in prison there were some who may have been preaching under false motives. Paul responses by saying, It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. Paul goes on to say that, The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Therefore, what I believe Paul is trying to convey is that we should value the truth of the gospel more than we value the attitudes of those who preach it. God is so good that he can use anyone and situation to advantage the Gospel if he so desires. As Christians in the body of Christ,

Women of Faith Study Bible NIV Version