We like to know who’s in and who’s out. More than that, we like to decide.
But, failing that, we’ll tune in to Entertainment Tonight, American Idol, Jeopardy, Hardball, Survivor and anything on ESPN to see to see who’s in and who’s out – socially, intellectually, competitively, politically, athletically, whatever. If we can vote somebody in that we like, or vote someone out that we don’t like … so much the better!
Jesus had a way of turning who’s in and who’s out inside-out.
When His followers found a fellow driving out demons in His name, they put the brakes on him fast. Why? “Because he is not one of us,” John explained.
Jesus said: “Don’t stop him! Whoever is not against you is for you.” (Luke 9:49-50) And in Mark 9:39 he adds, “No one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about Me.”
John understood the reverse, in Luke 11:23: “Whoever doesn’t gather with Me, scatters.” He “got” the truth that Jesus is an all-or-nothing proposition; you love Him or you hate Him. You’re with Him or you’re against Him. You’re “in” or you’re “out.” But, as far as John was concerned, if someone didn’t follow and wasn’t “in,” no demons should be cast out by him.
He didn’t stop to consider whether possessed people were better off without the demons.
Or the possibility that the power of Christ transcended one little group of followers.
Or the fact that Jesus could see and know about that person casting out demons as clearly as He could see Nathanael under the fig tree before Philip called him; as surely as He could feel virtue leave him when a woman touched His cloak to be healed.
Or that it’s Jesus who decides who’s in and who’s out.
I’d rather accept someone as “in” and then be disappointed not to see them in heaven, than to declare them as “out” and then be disappointed that I wasn’t in heaven with them. – Old Preacher Saying
4 thoughts on “Who’s In and Who’s Out”
The Mark 9 passage is one of my FAVORITES of the whole N.T. I didn’t hear too many sermons on it growing up……hmm, wonder why? 🙂>I will never forget how disappointed I was when I read in F. LaGard Smith’s book “Who Is My Brother” that he (FLS) had turned this passage into a sectarian reading. He had to….to stay consistent. Another example of making scripture fit your theology, instead of the other way around, which is what we are called to do. >>GREAT POST, brother! Don’t make us wait so long between posts next time, dude! 🙂>>Your brother,>DU
Very good post Keith. Until recently I was like that. I would judge the individual by what church he attended instead of what really mattered, what lies in that persons heart. Foolish me. I can worship with anyone who wants to worship the risen Lord. Anyone. I will allow God to hold that person acccountable for their doctrinal stances or what they know or do not know. It was not my job to do so. Ohh, I suffered from the disease infested legalism. Thanks bro.
JP, I miss your blog. I hope you’ve found a wonderful environment in which to share your worship!
I miss it somewhat also, well, I miss the comments that came from you guys. I already have a new title for my new blog (if I actually had one) “The Return of the Prodigal Blogger”. Cute.