Thoughts for the Day

Wednesday, 22nd May 2024: In Jesus' name

John Mark 9 Peace Disciples Unity Jesus

Reading : Verses from Mark, Chapter 9

Jesus sends out disciples

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.’ But Jesus said, ‘Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterwards to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.

(Lectionary, New Revised Standard Version)


Jesus has set his face towards Jerusalem and to the cross, and today's incident follows the active parable when he placed a small child before them to say that those who receive a child in his name, receive Jesus. Up until Peter acknowledged him as the Christ (Mark 8.27-29) Jesus' ministry has largely been one of miracles with the crowds gathering wherever he goes. From now on though he begins to increase his teaching to his disciples, explaining that the "Son of Man" must suffer and be rejected, and after three days rise again. He is preparing them for what will happen, and their role as humble servants.

Now we see John (the brother of James, the two sons of Zebedee) reporting to Jesus that someone was healing by using the name of Jesus, but that he is not one of their group. Notice he says "he doesn't follow us"! Jesus never calls a person to follow "us". He calls us to follow him! But he does then call his disciples to a more inclusive and wider vision - one that includes us - by saying "Whoever is not against us, is for us."

As a society and as Christ's church we need to hear this statement, for we are divided along so many lines: denominational, racial, economic, age, social, and gender to mention just a few divisions. All too often we can look on others as inferior because they think differently to ourselves, and we can guard our petty differences zealously as being better than theirs. We need to be careful to measure others by the rule of love. Jesus saw that the man who was healing in his name was doing so for the right reasons and had faith in his power, even though he appeared not to be one of his followers.


Lord Jesus Christ
You call of us to follow You,
and to judge others through Your eyes
and not our own biased perceptions.
May we learn to look at the outcomes
rather than the differences
of those holding other viewpoints,
and remember that You call all people to You.

Follow Up Thoughts

You might like to play this Christian song from the children of BPS School, Dohar, Qatar:

Or play this video:

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