Surprising Heroes of the Faith
Text: Luke 9:46-50 Theme: Jesus honored children and outsiders as great in His Kingdom. Key verses: “Jesus, knowing their thoughts, took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said ot them, ‘Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all — he is the greatest.’ ‘Master,’ said John, ‘we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we tried to stop him, because he is not one of us.’ ‘Do not stop him,’ Jesus said, ‘for whoever is not against you is for you.'” (v. 46-50) What God said to me: Dwayne, I rarely see things the same way you humans do. More importantly, you rarely understand things in the way I do. Many of my ways may make little or no sense to the human, fleshly mind. Jesus’ disciples certainly struggled with the least is greatest concept. That was one they never expected to hear from Jesus. Here he was, holding up a little kid as more important than them. What had that kid done to deserve such recognition? He was only a little child. Jesus was trying to help his disciples grasp that humility and lowliness of heart is more appealing to me and more useful in my Kingdom that any amount of talent and self-exalting charisma that so many of my followers possess. Then, the disciples were shocked again when Jesus turned the tables on their next assumption. They were sure this guy out there throwing around Jesus’ name to cast out demons had to be one of the bad guys that needed rebuke. Yet, Jesus said he was for them simply because he wasn’t against them. This statement is pregnant with wisdom and instruction. How many times do you and your little group or your congregation or your denomination want to oppose those who don’t associate with your group? Yes, you should investigate their theology and examine their methods. But if they are truly doing wonders “in my name” then you have no right to try to stop them or to malign them. This family of mine is large and diverse. You are not smart enough to know all the ways and the reasons I use your brothers and sisters. You may not even recognize or want to acknowledge some of them as part of your family because their methods and ministries are so different from yours. Be careful. You must tread lightly to be sure you don’t cast out the very ones whom I am using to reach people you and your friends will never be able to reach for my glory. What I said to God: Father, praise You, for meeting with me this morning. You are the faithful and awesome and holy and majesty and beautiful Lord. I am so grateful You looked my way and included me in Your vast — and diverse — kingdom. Forgive me when I pre-judge those who don’t look or smell or act like I think they should. Even if they disagree with me and chose not to associate with me, that is no reason to reject them and discredit their efforts. May we examine their doctrines and methods to be sure they are Biblical. And if so, help me and my group to love and pray for them and their effectiveness in Your family on this earth. Praise You for this week. Please make it a productive one. And grant me opportunities to share with my neighbors about You.