#DailyDevotion Are You For Christ Jesus?
Mark 9:38 John said to [Jesus], “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 For the one who is not against us is for us. 41 For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
Believe it or not, this passage is not about it being ok to teach false doctrine as long as Jesus is mentioned. Believe it or not I’ve heard people use this passage to show that it is ok to preach false doctrine as long as Jesus was preached. But Jesus isn’t preached if false doctrine is being taught. It’s highly possible a different Jesus is being taught in that case.
The truth of the matter is, no one can do a miracle in the name of Jesus and then speak against Jesus. To perform a miracle in Jesus’ name indicates you have faith in Jesus and belong to him. Such a one is for Jesus and not against Jesus. If they are for Jesus than they cannot be against us.
No, instead of false teachers this passage more applies to those Paul mentions here: Php 1:15-18 “Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. (16) The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. (17) The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. (18) What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,…” Now we don’t know who Pau is talking about here and why they would preach Christ from envy and rivalry and trying to afflict Paul, but Paul writes this from prison so it’s likely they too could end up in the same fate as Paul. While their motive is false, their preaching is true. Paul could hardly rejoice in Christ proclaimed falsely. Compare that to the seven sons of Sceva who tried to exorcise demons in Jesus’ name: Act 19:15-16 “But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?” (16) And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.”
On the other hand compare this to the preaching of Apollos. Act 18:24-26 “Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. (25) He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. (26) He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” While Apollos preached Christ with a pure heart, his teaching was not completely accurate. When he was shown the full truth, he accepted it and preached Christ Jesus even more boldly.
We should encourage people to share the good news of Jesus Christ and pray for them to share Christ accurately. If possible we help to make their message more accurate. If they accept our correction they are of the same Spirit and we should treat them like a brother. Who knows maybe we are in the wrong and they will correct us and we will receive that with thanksgiving.
Heavenly Father, place your word faithfully in the mouths of all who speak the name of Jesus that Jesus may truly be glorified and faith and knowledge of him increased. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.