SPIRITUAL NOURISHMENT FOR TODAY
Passage: Luke 9:49-50 NKJV
“49 Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.”
50 But Jesus said to him, “Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is on our side.”
Memory Verse: Philippians 2:9 NIV
“THEREFORE GOD EXALTED HIM TO THE HIGHEST PLACE AND GAVE HIM THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME.”
Immediately after Jesus had finished teaching his disciples that humility is a necessity for those who want to be great God’s scheme of things, John the disciple informed Jesus of an incident which had taken place earlier in the absence of Jesus. It could be that the incident reported by John took place when the Master sent them out. According to John, they saw a man, who was not one of the disciples, casting out demons in the name of the Master.
This man could be one of the people who had come to believe in Jesus, even though he did not follow Jesus as a disciple. He must have been one of John’s disciples who had come to believe in the name of Jesus and decided to go his way or did not know how to follow Jesus. This story clearly shows the power in the name of the Master. According to Apostle Paul God has given Jesus Christ a name above all names.
“THEREFORE GOD EXALTED HIM TO THE HIGHEST PLACE AND GAVE HIM THE NAME ABOVE EVERY NAME, THAT AT THE NAME OF JESUS EVERY KNEE SHOULD BOW, IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH AND UNDER THE EARTH, AND EVERY TONGUE CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD TO THE GLORY OF GOD THE FATHER” Philippians 2:9-11 NIV.
This explains why many people, some of whom are not Christians, call on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ in times of difficulties. Indeed there is no name greater than YESHUA HA’MASHIACK.
It is the only name that can drive out demons, sicknesses, troubles and human enemies who oppose God’s people. It is the name that saves, protects, and heals. Do not forget this name in good or bad times. Let the Master’s name remain on your lips every moment of your life. If you will believe in the name of Jesus, and confess that he is Lord to the glory of God the Father, salvation will come to you and your entire household.
Unfortunately the disciples who saw the man driving out demons in the name of the Master had thought it was wrong for him to do so. They might have done that in good faith, probably to protect the credibility of Jesus’ name and to avoid future abuses.
That notwithstanding, it is also obvious they stopped the man from using the name of the Master because they thought only those who were among the disciples of Jesus had the right and authority to use his name. They might have thought that all those outside of Jesus’ followers were not good enough to use the name of the Master.
This was immediately corrected by the Master who told them not to forbid anyone who uses his name to drive out demons. Jesus was teaching them that the disciples are not the only people who qualify to demonstrate the power in the name of Jesus . It is important to note that the use of Jesus’ name is not exclusive to only few people: Anyone who believes in him can call upon Him at anytime.
What the disciples did, can be compared to the menace of denominationalism as we find in Christendom today. The same situation prevailed among the Jewish sects where each sect saw themselves as the chosen ones. There are different Christian religious denominations and some think they are the only saved ones. Some denominations see themselves better than others and sometimes think that nothing good can come from the other denominations. They look down upon other denominations and see themselves as the exclusive children of God. This can be very deceptive and dangerous. The disciples thought they were the only ones who knew how best to use the name of the Lord but Jesus taught them that there could be other good followers of Christ who were not among the known disciples of Jesus. Once such people use his name to glorify God, they should be seen to be among the people of God and be allowed to operate.
The above should lead us to the understanding that there is no single Christian denomination which can claim to be the only favorite of Christ. We should understand that Christ has many followers in different denominations who are equally saved just as some of those in our denominations. The fact that your theology differs from mine does not make either of us better or worse. What matters most is that we all believe in the name of Jesus and confess him as our Lord and Saviour.
The name of YESHUA HA’MASCHIACH (Jesus the Christ), must be allowed to unite us and not to divide us. Once we all believe in the name of Jesus, his works on the cross and his deity and also accept him as our Lord and Saviour, we should all come together to destroy the works of the devil in this world.
If we shall all rally around the name of the Messiah, we shall become stronger and win more souls for Christ.
May the Lord help us to deepen the bond of unity among all members of his church, now and forevermore!
THE WORD OF THE LORD!
Pastor Nana Kobina Baisie
Teacher/Pastor at Nadrim Mission International School, Busan, Korea.