Mark 9:38 And John answered him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.
39 But Jesus said, Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a miracle in my name, that can lightly speak evil of me.
40 For he that is not against us is on our part.
The disciples zealously tried to insure everyone conformed to what they thought was appropriate. They proudly declared to Christ that they forbade some man that was casting out devils because he was not one of “them.” No doubt they were expecting the Saviour to praise and endorse their actions. Surely, thought they, he would be overly pleased with their zeal and boldness for the truth. The Lord’s words were likely quite surprising when He said, “Forbid him not” (Mark 9:39). As was His custom, the Lord followed these startling words with profound words of wisdom when He said, “For he that is not against us is on our part” (Mark 9:40). Christianity was never intended to be made up of mindless and robotic men and women.
• (For children): Joshua wanted Moses to forbid two of the seventy elders from prophesying because they were in the camp and not at the tabernacle. Read Moses’ answer to Joshua (Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29). God can use whom He wants where and when He wants to use them.
• (For everyone): Are there some you would like to forbid from serving the Lord? Are they preaching Christ and salvation by grace through faith? Is there a way you could explain to them the way of God more perfectly (Acts 18:26)?
• Do you follow the same pattern of graciousness demonstrated by your Saviour? If not, why not?
• Ask God to give you wisdom on when to forbid or when to allow.
• Ask the Lord to give you of His graciousness.
SONG: BLEST BE THE TIE THAT BINDS