Tuesday, September 25, 2012

In Jesus Name We...


Go figure? In  Mark 9:38-50, the apostles are all bent out of shape because someone outside of their “elite” group dares to do their job and has been caught casting out demons. Ironically, none of the twelve were able to exorcise an unclean spirit from a boy earlier in Mark. Now, they want to forbid someone who is doing the same thing, but successfully.

Jesus’ response is unequivocal: Cut out all your elitist nonsense and get over yourselves; he was acting in my name.  

What does acting in my name mean? Jesus tries to teach us that acting in the Name of Jesus is not merely a knee jerk response to a liturgical prayer.

It's living a life under the reign of God in Jesus, as Jesus.

Jesus was also unequivocal when he tells us that anything that gets in the way of living in His name, should be eliminated. So should stumbling blocks disguised as precious body parts, be severed? Again, the violence of Jesus' hyperbole here is palpable and unequivocal. It serves to remind us that preventing another from being “of Christ” and acting in his name is far worse than self-mutilation.
We ask:

What stumbling do we put in the way of others?
What does it mean to be “of Christ?”
What criteria should we use to determine if someone is "of Christ" or not?
What about active church membership?
What if, rather than "active church membership," we call it "being a part of the body of Christ"?
Can one be "of Christ" and not be an integral part of the "body of Christ?


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