Dear Children of God,
“We’re #1! We’re #1!” Everyone wants to be #1. With college football season upon us the “Top Twenty-Five” polls are a common sight. And many are excited to see their team jumping in the polls … others get crazy that their “arch-enemy” is ranked above them. I fall into the same trap with my teams. This year, they had a big win early on and looked to be flying up the polls, while their chief rival got upset – “YAY!” The next week my team got upset and fell out of the polls too.
This fascination with being #1 or on the winning team is nothing new. Even Jesus’ disciples fell into the “We’re #1” trap. They were beside themselves with jealousy because someone else, who wasn’t on their “team” was healing people in Jesus’ name. But Jesus reminded them, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:39-40). There is one “Team Jesus” and whoever calls on His name in faith is on that team. Wherever His name is proclaimed in truth and light, the gospel is being spread.
I can see myself in the disciples’ sandals though. I have a pretty good idea on what I think is the correct interpretation of scripture in many areas. When I see others with different interpretations, it is tempting to join in with the disciples to call those others out too. But then I hear Jesus’ scolding of His disciples ringing in my own ears. While we may differ in certain areas of scriptural interpretation, it’s important to remember what Jesus says to us, “No one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us” (Mark 9:39-40). We are saved by the works and name of Jesus and faith in Him alone (Romans 10:9-10).
In Christ’s Love,