Scripture: 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 deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 Whoever is not against us is for us…42 (then Jesus said) “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. 43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off; it is better for you to enter life maimed than to have two hands and to go to hell… where their worm never dies, and the fire is never quenched.”
Observation: Jesus’ disciples sometimes had trouble doing the things Jesus did – like casting out demons. Adding insult to injury, someone they didn’t even know – who had none of the direct access to Jesus they did – was successfully casting out demons in Jesus’ name. When they suggested this unauthorized person be stopped, Jesus disagreed. To the contrary, Jesus gave a stern warning to those who might cause one of these new believers (these “little ones”) to lose faith. They would be dealt with harshly.
Application: I have seen it many times – relatively new believers exercising tremendous faith for the sake of Jesus – while more mature Christians get concerned. Does this person really know what they’re doing? Shouldn’t that person get more training or teaching or experience first? Sometimes newer Christians don’t know they’re not supposed to be able to do things. And that’s a gift – which was partly Jesus’ point.
Questions: Where is the Lord calling you to exercise great faith despite the doubts of others? Where might you be holding yourself back because you don’t think you have enough ______? What would it look like for you to trust Jesus in a big way?
Prayer: Lord give us faith beyond our years and experience. Amen.