Bearing Christ’s Name
O God, may I be like You.
Read MARK 9:30–41
30 They left that place and passed through Galilee. Jesus did not want anyone to know where they were, 31 because he was teaching his disciples. He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand what he meant and were afraid to ask him about it.
33 They came to Capernaum. When he was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” 34 But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest.
35 Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
36 He took a little child whom he placed among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
Whoever Is Not Against Us Is for Us
38 “Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.”
39 “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, 40 for whoever is not against us is for us. 41 Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat would you like to be recognized for? Bring these dreams and your mundane everyday tasks to God.
Look at the quality of different relationships in this passage. The disciples are thinking about fame and glory. Jesus is seeking obscurity, coming back home secretly, avoiding recognition so that he could concentrate on his mission and prepare the disciples (30,31).
The disciples want to be certain about who is “in” and who is “out.” Jesus makes it clear that it is not a case of being in the right group; it is whom we are looking towards, whom we honor and identify with that matters. The unknown man casting out demons acts in Jesus’ name and Jesus commends him (38,39). Any work done for Christ brings a reward, whoever does it. We may want to be associated with popular or important people, but Jesus shows us that welcoming people of no status is very significant (37). God’s way, shown in Jesus, is a sacrificial laying down of status (31). His concern is often for overlooked people, who, like children, bring us needs and often cannot pay us back or reward us.
Ask God to shine through you in your daily tasks. Remember that you bear his name and that is glory enough.
God, help me to understand what it means to truly be Your servant.