Summary: Jesus had just taught a lesson on ambition and service. Now He teaches a lesson on tolerance and tolerance is often misunderstood.

Jesus had just taught a lesson on ambition and service. Now He teaches a lesson on tolerance.

Tolerance is often misunderstood. Some believe that every person should be received and accepted' no matter their beliefs or behavior.

Others are convinced that beliefs and behavior matter;

In other words, if a person's beliefs and behavior are damaging to the welfare of others, then that person should not be received and accepted (for example Hitler, agnosticism, humanism, atheism).

When Jesus said what he did in v.37 it caused John to share about a man ministering in Jesus' name.

John saw immediately that Jesus seemed to be saying that people were to be accepted and cared for in His name--no matter who they were.

Jesus took John's account of rejection and laid down the conditions of tolerance and I want to share with you, today, 3 conditions of tolerance that Jesus spoke of. But first…

1. 9:38-39 John felt guilt because he had rejected a man.

Jesus had just said, in v.37, that His followers were to be open-armed in receiving people.

The words of Jesus stirred up some guilty feelings within John.

He and the other apostles had seen a man ministering in Jesus' name, and they had stopped him…Why?

Look at John's words: "because he does not follow us."

The disciples stopped him because he ... was not one of them…a part of their group.

BUT let’s think about the man that John rebuked.

a. He had somehow been influenced by the Lord.

b. He knew about the Lord.

c. He had a strong faith in the Lord's name.

d. He had given himself to the ministry and was ministering to people.

In fact, he was ministering to the most difficult cases, to the demon-possessed. And we understand that ministering to the demon-possessed was the ministry which was difficult for the disciples to perform. Remember what we saw in Mk.9:14-29?

There are several reasons why people oppose others, why we are not often tolerant.

1. Loyalty to an organization or to a leader can cause intolerance.

If a person does not stand for our organization or leader, he is often unacceptable.

2. Conviction of our own position and belief can cause intolerance.

If a person does not agree with our position or belief, he is often unacceptable.

3. The need for unity can cause intolerance.

If a person questions or opposes us or our organization, he is often unacceptable.

4. A sense of authority and self-exaltation can cause intolerance.

We can think too highly of ourselves, feeling that we are the great defenders of the truth and so, if a person questions or opposes our position, he is often unacceptable.

5. Jealousy and envy can cause intolerance.

Who a person is (spiritually, physically, mentally) and what he has (position, gifts, recognition) are often secretly desired or coveted. Therefore, the person is often unacceptable.

6. A sense of pride and arrogance, of being better than others can cause intolerance.

A person can be poor, disadvantaged, unemployed, uneducated, single, or a million other conditions and be unacceptable.

This man, although professing and ministering in the name of Christ, was rebuked and stopped by the apostles. What he was doing was unacceptable to them.

BUT: John sensed enough guilt over the matter that he became honest enough to confess his intolerance and ask Jesus about what he thought about the issue.

What did Jesus say? Very simply, "Do not forbid him. Receive him. Let him minister."

After saying this Jesus laid down the conditions of tolerance. Here’s what happened to the disciples and can so easily happen to you/me and other believers/churches and ee run the risk of making the same mistakes the disciples made.

1.They set themselves up as judges of others…2.They were too narrow, too exclusive…3. They denied another the right to serve…4. They wrecked a servant's ministry…5. They kept many from ever being helped…6. They taught intolerance.

Intolerance has wrecked many lives and multitudes churches. Intolerance causes strife and division, hurt and


It shames…it ruins and paralyzes both individuals and churches.

2. v39 the first condition is, Be tolerant: If the person/church is not speaking evil of Christ.

The emphasis of this point seems to be on the phrase "speaking evil of Christ."

A person who truly ministers "in the name of Christ" will most likely not speak evil of Christ. If

But the opposite is also true. The person who speaks evil of Christ shows that he is an enemy of Christ.

The first is to be accepted. The last one who speaks evil of Christ is not to be accepted.

Ph.1:15-18 “15Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill:

16The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.

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