Daily D – Luke 9:49-50
Luke 9:49, 50 John said to Jesus, “Master, we saw someone using your name to cast out demons, but we told him to stop because he isn’t in our group.” But Jesus said, “Don’t stop him! Anyone who is not against you is for you.” (NLT)
Luke 9 is an expansive chapter. It begins with Jesus sending his closest followers on mission with power and authority (verses 1, 2). Jesus fed 5,000 and more (verses 10-17). Jesus was transfigured and spoke with Moses and Elijah about his coming exodus from this world (verses 28-36). Jesus delivered a boy from an evil spirit (verses 37-43). He had given his authority and power to his disciples to do this, but they couldn’t do it.
Then the discussion about who was the greatest occurred (verses 46-48). Jesus keeps expanding the worldview of his closest disciples. He keeps inviting others into relationship with himself. Then John, who had been with him on the mountain when he was transfigured, who had experienced everything else in this chapter, decided to draw the circle smaller and tighter. It sounds like he wanted an exclusive relationship with Jesus when Jesus offered an open-ended opportunity for everyone to experience grace and mercy.
Do you ever feel threatened when you are around someone more capable than you even though you have more access to power, training, and development? John wanted to keep the power and authority from Jesus limited to their little group. Jesus had bigger, better plans. See 10:1-16 for details.
John and the other guys couldn’t accomplish what Jesus gave them power and authority to do. This other guy was able to do it. The other guy was doing what Jesus wanted and expected.
It took a while for John to figure out what Jesus was up to. Years later, he wrote these words in the book we know by his name:
For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him.
John 3:16, 17
Jealousy and exclusivity are the opposite of what Jesus wants. Jesus wants everyone to know and experience a life-changing relationship with him. He wants everyone to use his delegated power and authority to extend his kingdom to every man, woman, boy, and girl.
Never place a boundary where Jesus extends an invitation.
I will use whatever power and authority Jesus delegates to me to open doors for others to know and experience his power and authority.
Our Father, I belong to you. Please forgive me for the times when I acted like you belonged to me. I am yours to command. I do not command you. Please forgive me for thinking in terms of status when you are directing me into service. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.