Summary: What would Jesus have us do with people who are not like us?
Not One of Us
Mark 9: 38-50
Intro: Years ago a boy had a crush on a girl, Laura Mae. Everyone in that community planted gardens and protected them with scarecrows made as lifelike and original as possible. Riding the school bus one afternoon, they rounded the curve near Laura Mae’s house, and her parent’s garden came in to view. In the middle of the rows, was a figure dressed in an old straw hat, ragged overalls, and a faded checked shirt. A hoe was stuck under his right arm, adding authenticity. In an effort to gain favor with the girl he loved, the boy said, “Laura Mae, your daddy never has to worry about crows in his garden; anything that ugly will keep everything away.” And right at that moment the scarecrow began hoeing. Laura Mae is married now, but not to that boy. (1001 Humorous Illustrations for Public Speaking by Michael Hodgin)
I. Read vs. 38 – “he was not one of us” – not one of the 12 / Not following Jesus – not one of the 12.
A. Intolerance of others. Rejection of people because they don’t look like us, don’t act like us, don’t dress like us.
B. What we don’t understand we often condemn.
C. Intolerance is both a sign of arrogance and ignorance.
1) no truth beyond the truth we see
2) my way or the highway
II. Jesus responds to John’s narrow-minded approach with good judgment and tolerance.
A. VS. 39 – 40 – At least he isn’t out to cause us harm. – he is at least trying to help.
B. Jesus pushes John to take a “wide view”
1) Christians are not unique clique off in a corner
2) not building walls and fences to shut different people out.
C. No one person or church or church group has cornered the market on God. – Cervantes – “MANY ARE THE ROADS BY WHICH GOD CARRIES HIS OWN TO HEAVEN.”
III. What kind of guy is the one who is doing the work that makes John unhappy? VS. 41.
A. Using the name of Jesus – convinced of power and status of Jesus. – demon stuff.
B. Man was causing people to walk and not stumble.
C. John concerned with means / Jesus concerned with the end result.
Conclusion – parable of the opal ring that caused the wearer to have sweetness of character and loved by all. – The life lived would demonstrate who had the real ring.
“Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout. He drew a circle that kept me out. But love and I had the wit to win. I drew a circle that took him in.”