Jesus welcomes those who are “for him” whether or not they are “with him.” There is some tension here between the reference in Matthew vs Mark and Luke, but they are two very different circumstances that emphasize our need to understand the context of scripture.
Matthew 12:30, Mark 9:38-41, Luke 9:49-50
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One Reply to “Whoever is Not against us is For us”
The initial references here include verses from Mark and Luke, but I added Matthew’s reference to emphasize the need to understand the context of a particular scripture. In the case of Matthew 12:30, Jesus is referring to the Pharisees who are actively trying to trap him, so his words are quite terse.
The scene in Mark and Luke is completely different. Here we have disciples who are indeed following the way of Jesus, they are casting out demons in the name of Jesus, but they have chosen not to follow them physically.
In England, the British have a common phrase, “are you with me?” After living there for a while, this is something we say at home quite often. It simply means, do you understand what I’m saying? It seems this case is like one of those times when there are those who are doing what Jesus preached, they were with him, but they simply choose not to join the group and travel with them. These “other” disciples were doing just what they were supposed to!
Look way back in the days of Moses, Numbers 11:26-30.
How often do we try to constrain ministry to those who have signed-up to be with us rather than simply for the kingdom? Lord, keep us far from jealousy and consistently advancing your kingdom on all fronts.