In this age of multiculturalism, you might assume communities, groups and schools would be welcoming to outsiders. However, cliques tend to form quickly like a defense mechanism, afraid of trusting a stranger until they prove their loyalty. Thus, classmates, co-workers and transients tend to judge a person like a book, by the outside cover.
“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,” Mark 9:38.
The disciples were no different. Perhaps jealousy played a role in their actions, fearful another individual’s gifts might impress Jesus more than their own talents. Insecure, at least a few of the disciples thought someone was trying to move in on their turf. Correcting their flawed mindset, Jesus encourages his followers to get behind others who fight and stand for the same cause.
“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, for whoever is not against us is for us, Mark 9:39-40.”
As a son of an immigrant, I remember the stories my father shared about coming to this country, learning English and embracing America as a melting pot. Unfortunately, I run into people daily who come to this country without ever integrating, keeping to themselves and speaking their native language daily. Without any sense of unity, this trend will continue to form a great divide as foreign cultures profess, “they’re not one of us!” Don’t give into this mindset. Rather, support those who make a stand for a worthy cause, especially soldiers of the cross.
by Jay Mankus