Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Why did Jesus say those things?

Why does Jesus seem to give two opposing views of those who are not in His following? In Luke 11:23, He seems to say that if you are not on His side ... if you are not His follower ... if you are not "with Him," you are against Him. Then, in Mark 9:40, He says everyone who is not "against us [Him?]" is "for us [Him?]." One statement is very exclusive, while the other is very inclusive.

Luke 11:23
19"And if I by Beelzebul cast out demons, by whom do your sons cast them out? So they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. 22 But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder.
23 He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters. 24 When the unclean spirit goes out of a man, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, and not finding any, it says, 'I will return to my house from which I came.' 25 And when it comes, it finds it swept and put in order. 26 Then it goes and takes along seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they go in and live there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."

Mark 9:40
38 John said to Him, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we tried to prevent him because he was not following us." 39But Jesus said, "Do not hinder him, for there is no one who will perform a miracle in My name, and be able soon afterward to speak evil of Me.
40 For he who is not against us is for us. 41 For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because of your name as followers of Christ, truly I say to you, he will not lose his reward. 42 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea."

Does anyone have any thoughts or insight into this?


  • Rose;

    I understand both sayings to be making the same point: you cannot be neutral about Jesus Christ!

    I notice that the two sayings are in different contexts. The Luke 11 passage is about spiritual warfare. Could Jesus mean that in combatting spiritual evil one must decide to side with Jesus and those who don't have by default decided to remain aligned with the evil forces of this world?

    The Mark 9 passage is more interesting. Someone was doing miraculous deeds in Jesus' name. But that person was not part of the "in crowd" - he wasn't one who was recognized as within the sphere of the known disciples. This man had already decided to "team up" with Jesus.

    The disciples objected to this, but Jesus said, in effect, he's not working against Me, so he's on our side.

    So perhaps the paradigm is this: people are by default aligned with Satan's forces of spiritual evil. They must decide to align themselves with Jesus (Luke 11), and once they do that - as manifested by their deeds done in Jesus' name (Mark 9) - they are "with" Jesus.

    By Anonymous Bud Brown, at 3/25/2006 10:58 AM  

  • The latter passage demonstrates that Jesus does not mean 'with me' in a physical sense.

    God Bless


    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 3/25/2006 11:21 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I think Bud Brown has it basically right. The concept is that one cannot be neutral about Jesus; you're either with Him or, by default, you're against Him: and this is even true by default in the absence of a decision.

    By Blogger Cleopas, at 3/25/2006 3:42 PM  

  • Hi Rose :)

    Great comments...

    Edifying passages :)

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 3/25/2006 6:39 PM  

  • Rose,

    I'm with bud. :-)


    By Blogger Doug E., at 3/26/2006 1:00 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I like Bud's comment. Matthew and Loren are right on too. Jodie and Doug, I'm with you...Great comments.

    Rose, glad to hear you are on the mend. Hope your youngsters feel better soon.

    Attack Sheep

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 3/26/2006 11:18 AM  

  • What Bud said.

    By Blogger Gordon Cloud, at 3/26/2006 4:21 PM  

  • Hi Bud Brown,
    Thanks for your comments. I had always thought of the first passage as being just what you say: one cannot truly be neutral about Christ.
    The second one didn't seem so easy, but your explanation helps and now it makes sense to me. I thought the second passage was saying as long as someone isn't against Christ, he can remain nuetral, and he is not against Christ. That never sounded right to me and I figured I was missing something. Now, I think I get it. Thanks for your help!

    Hi Matthew!

    Yes ... if you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice. ;~)

    Hi Jodie!

    Hi Doug!

    Hi Bluecollar!
    Thanks for the well wishes. We are sending the illness around the family. (I think you should call yourself ECW rather than "attack sheep" IMHO) :~)

    Hi Gordon!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/26/2006 4:57 PM  

  • Who are these attack sheep I've been hearing so much about??

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 3/26/2006 5:33 PM  

  • Throw my vote in for Bud too and add me to the list who are curious about "attack sheep". I might like to have one or two. ;-)

    Oh, Hi Rose! (big grin)

    By Blogger Kc, at 3/26/2006 5:36 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    ECW is Latin for "Attack Sheep".

    Attack Sheep are available for hire.

    Our motto: "Have wool, will travel"

    By Blogger bluecollar, at 3/27/2006 12:01 AM  

  • ...now I have even more questions...

    By Blogger H K Flynn, at 3/27/2006 9:53 AM  

  • Hi Rose

    Mark .. that was laaaammmmeeee

    Bub your'e the man

    Thank You Rose

    By Blogger forgiven, at 3/27/2006 12:21 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    So where does this passage from Philippians fit in?

    15It is true that some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. 16The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing that they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains.[c] 18But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice.

    By Anonymous Just a Bill, at 3/27/2006 12:37 PM  

  • Bluecollar,
    You are too nice to be an attack sheep.

    Hi forgiven!
    I would imagine that you and bluecollar have fun working together. Thanks for the visit.

    "Just a Bill"?
    Great passage to add to the mix. I think Paul was saying something a little different than what Jesus did in the Mark 9 passage. I don't think He implied that these were preaching for bad motives. However, Paul makes it clear that God will get his message out regardless of the messenger. I am so glad for this!!!! My messanger was probably, well ... I am just glad for this fact. I am glad Christ is preached ... because God ordained that His message go out!

    Thanks for the visit. How did you happen upon this blog, Bill?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/27/2006 9:54 PM  

  • I think one can be WITH Jesus and not be one with Him.

    I have a friend who thinks Jesus is a prime influencer and motivator, but he does not believe Jesus is God, or even more than a martyr for his cause.

    He is with Jesus. But Jesus is not in him. He has a philosophical Christianity.

    Nevertheless, Jesus can still use him to further His cause.

    In my mind, at least, this kind of brings these passages into one principle: Jesus is Lord, and if you are in Him you are fully armed; If you are not in Him, but like Him a lot, He can use you to His ends.

    God uses lots of so-called "TV evangelists" who are WAY off base for His glory.

    He can do that.

    Does that make sense?

    By Blogger Joe, at 3/28/2006 7:05 AM  

  • Rose,

    You know me--I know you.

    Just decided to post rather than email you a comment on this one.

    See ya at euchre on Friday!

    Still Just a Bill

    By Anonymous Still Just a Bill, at 3/28/2006 7:13 AM  

  • Hi Joe,
    I think the way you have explained that is perhaps the clearest to me yet. That fits both of those passages. Thanks!

    Just a bill ...
    I didn't know it was you! It didn't look like anybody from Toledo had visited me when I looked at my site meter. Well, I am glad to "see" you and I hope you will participate again ... and again! Great thoughts. I will look for you, just a bill. :~)

    Just a rose

    By Blogger Rose~, at 3/28/2006 7:44 AM  

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