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Do Not Be A Hindrance


Mark 9: 38-42

Here in this passage Jesus is doing some intensive training with his disciples.

Now if you remember Jesus has been walking with His disciples…and as they are walking the disciples begin, kind of arrogantly, discussing among themselves, in verse 34, “which of them was the greatest.”

And Jesus reveals to his disciples that He knows what they were talking about.

And then he takes a child in his arms and says “if you are going to receive Me you are going to have to receive others like you would this child.”

And Jesus’ words give John cause for thought, so look in verse 38  at what John says to Christ: Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name and we tried to hinder him because he is not following us.”

Or John could be questioning?

It may be he was confessing…especially after what Jesus has just told them.   

Those are the three possibilities as to how John may have said this.

Now, let’s look at the man that John speaks of here.

First, they saw someone, apparently a man because John says they saw “him”, “casting out demons.”

Second, he was doing it in “Jesus’ name”…or by Jesus’ authority.

And the third thing we know is, this man, whoever he was, was not a part of the 12 disciples.

Now, we don’t know where or how this man came to know about Christ…perhaps he had stood in one of the crowds and heard Jesus teach…or perhaps he had even witnessed Jesus perform a miracle himself.

What we do know is, here you have a man who is actively fighting against Satan…he is doing a righteous and good work…and doing it with the Lord’s approval and by the Lord’s authority.

The only problem is, “He wasn’t following after the 12.”

They had this arrogant, haughty spirit…we are “THE” disciples…we are Jesus’ chosen few.

Now, look at Jesus’ response in vs. 39. Jesus says: “Do not hinder him.

 Even if they don’t belong to our fellowship here at Sunset Ridge!

Sometimes a congregation of God’s people can get mighty high on themselves and think that they should determine what should and shouldn’t be done in the area…

But now, this goes beyond our brothers and sisters doing good works and fighting against Satan.

Listen, there is no way that we as a body of Christ…or all the churches of Christ around the world combined can do all the good works that need to be done.

Here locally there is a program, through the Police Dept. where people can go and find temporary shelter and that wouldn’t be there if it wasn’t for the work of other groups.

The issue is not “are those people a part of us. Are they working along side of me? Are they a part of our team?”

If we spent all of our time hindering the good that is done by others…whether it is a man mowing his neighbor’s yard….or visiting a sick friend in the hospital.

If it is a good work…if it is done to the glory of God…if it is fighting against Satan…if it is a help to others…if it is being done in accordance to the will of God and by the authority of Christ…Jesus says, “Do not hinder that work, even if someone else is doing it.”

Now understand this also.

This passage is not an open endorsement of fellowship with every one who comes along and does a good work…regardless of whether they teach the truth or not about Christ and salvation.

What this passage is, it is a message to us that others will do good works…and when they do…do not hinder those works.

In fact, look what he says in verse 40:

“For he who is not against us is for us.

Does that mean they are saved…or that they are our brothers in Christ?

Now verse 41: “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as {followers} of Christ, truly I say to you, he shall not lose his reward.

Now keep in mind here that John is talking about a man who did good things…in the name of Jesus.

And what Jesus is saying here is “when an individual or a congregation who is doing what God wants…and doing things according to God’s will and authority…when they assist others who are doing what God wants…and who are doing things according to God’s will and authority…

If we organize a door to door campaign here in Brady  where we are going to pass out literature to every door….if the congregation in Mason only supplies the ink for that literature…they will receive their reward for that effort.

(TIBI – what we give may only supply materials and a computer or two. Even though we are not a part of TIBI we will receive a reward for our effort)

And finally, in verse 42 and following Jesus warns us about “causing one who is weak and immature in the faith to stumble.”

In this context, I believe that Jesus is warning us against letting our arrogance…our haughty spirit…and our unjustified efforts to hinder…to cause those who are not as mature as we might think we are…to stumble.

This passage is not a passage on fellowship.

This passage is a passage on arrogance…haughtiness…and our attitude toward the good that others do.