God’s Hope for Your Heart from Luke 9

GOD’S KINGDOM IS BIGGER THAN YOUR PERSPECTIVE

John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”  But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”  (Luke 9:49-50)

The disciples were convinced they’d found an imposter.  They were convinced there was just one way to follow Jesus, one set of interpretations, and one list of right methods: theirs.  They were convinced they were in the right and this other person was in the wrong because he didn’t “follow with us,” and so the disciples were sure he must not be following Jesus at all.

But Jesus disagreed.

Perhaps one reason for this can be found in a careful reading of the previous passage.  Luke 9:46-47 reveals the main motivation of the disciples’ desire to exclude anyone not like them.

“An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest, but Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by His side…”

The disciples had just been rebuked for their self-centeredness and pride.  It was in response to this rebuke that “John answered.”  He was trying to justify himself.  He was trying to prove how right the disciples were by pointing out how wrong someone else was.

But Jesus disagreed.

Notice that when Jesus wanted to demonstrate the heart of the Kingdom, He didn’t choose a scholar.  He didn’t choose a priest.  He chose a child, because He is far more concerned with simple trust and obedience towards Him and sincere unity and love towards others than He is about our music, our dress code or our Bible translation.  (See Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17.)

We know that Jesus is the only way to God because He said it Himself and Scripture is full of this truth.  However, the way in which we follow Him is more flexible than many like to believe.

Here’s why this is good news.

Because the Kingdom is bigger than just your point of view, you don’t have to worry so much about getting everything “right” all the time!  In fact, if you’re too focused on nailing down all the particulars, you might just miss the whole point: Jesus loves you; He has called you; He is with you, and He is for you.

As you let the main thing be the main thing, keep your focus on Jesus Himself, and you’ll be filled with the great hope that flows from this great truth: God’s Kingdom is bigger than your perspective.

-Pastor Phillip


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