3/5 Luke 9:50

50 But Jesus said to him, "Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you."

The disciples saw a man casting out demons in Jesus' name (Mark 9:38-40). They tried to stop the man because he wasn't following Jesus with them. At the time, they thought everyone who wanted to do works in Jesus' name must follow Jesus every day and learn from Him just as they were.

Jesus corrected their misunderstanding. If someone was doing something in His name, how could they speak evil of Him? If they weren't against Jesus, then they were for Him. There is no middle ground. Jesus' actions and words cause people to come to a decision point. We don't have to push people into making a decision. We just tell them what Jesus said and did, and they will have to decide. The man casting out the demons had obviously chosen to believe in Jesus, but was not following the Master in the traditional Jewish sense.

We need to hear this teaching today. With so many denominations and different emphases, we can be critical of those who don't follow just as we do. They may differ with us on minor doctrines or believe Christians must do certain rituals that are foreign to us. The bottom line is: Have they decided for Jesus? And if they do not oppose your decision for Jesus and way of following Him, then they are really with you. However, those who are against you and try to draw away those in your fellowship are against you. They are advancing their own kingdom, not God's kingdom.

Consider: We should be careful not to criticize those who worship and serve the Lord Jesus in a way that is different from our own. We may be criticizing those who are closer to the Lord than we are.