Rejoice in other people's success
Reading: Mark 9:38-50
Blanks: miracles, water, peace
(3) Two thousand years ago, the disciples of Jesus were supposed to cast out demons.
Sometimes they were good at it.
But sometimes they were not good at it.
Some days, they cast out demons.
In other days they were not able to cast our demons.
So, Jesus asked them to pray more in the name of Jesus, so that they could cast out demons.
What Jesus was asking them was something like this:
What are these?
Right, these are phones.
But these phones have no batteries in them.
They have no power.
So then what do we do?
We plug these phones into its power source.
Then it works.
Otherwise, it does not work.
Likewise, Jesus was saying:
"Sometimes, you are like these phones.
You need your power from God.
Then, you can live a powerful life.
So, pray and be connected with God.
Then, you can cast out demons and do powerful things."
(3) Now then there was a man who knew about this.
So he started to cast out demons in the name of Jesus.
(2) When the disciples of Jesus saw this, they were like:
“Who is this guy?
Where does he come from?
He is not a follower of Jesus like us.
Then why does this guy use the name of Jesus, our teacher, to cast out demons?"
So they confronted him saying:
"You can not use the name of our teacher.
Only we can use his name.
We are the disciples of Jesus.
So only we can use his name."
They wanted to insist that only they can use the name of Jesus.
But as you know now, sometimes, they could not cast out demons.
But still they insisted that only they should use the name of Jesus, their teacher.
(3) So after this, John, a disciple of Jesus came to Jesus and reported about this:
“Jesus, have you heard what we have just witnessed?
There was this guy who cast out demons in your name.
He was not a follower of you.
He was not one of us.
So, we stopped him.” (smile)
Jesus was like: (Acts 5:38-39)
Don’t stop him.
Leave him alone.
Otherwise, you may be fighting against God!
He is doing fine.
He must have some kind of faith.
He must have learned something about me.
So God is with him with this.
There is more than one way to follow me.
Also remember: whoever is not against us is for us.
Since he use the power of my name like that, he would not quickly change his mind and speak against me.
So whoever is not against us is for us.”
Then Jesus might have said something like this:
(3) “But it seems there is another issue here.
You were not able to cast out demons.
But this guy came along and cast out demons.
So, you felt insecure.
Or you felt jealousy.
You are my disciples.
You are following the blessed way.
(3) So if anyone gives you a cup of water to drink because you are my disciple, they will have their reward.
So, don’t be jealous.
Instead, just be happy for him.
Don’t try to stop him.
God does not like that.”
Sometimes, we may not want to see someone succeeds when we fail.
This kind of attitude disconnects us from God.
So when we realize that, we may ask God to forgive us and take away our sins.
(4) Let’s talk about these phones again that need to be charged.
At this point, if we disconnect again these phones from its power source, it may not work.
Likewise, if we are disconnected from God, our life does not work very well.
Then what disconnect us from God?
The Bible calls it sin.
(3) But then what is sin?
It is lying, stealing, being mean to other people, gossiping about other people, being jealous and trying to live only for ourselves.
All these things are called sins.
Sin separates us from God.
Sin unplugs us from our true source of power, God.
These disconnect us from God and keep us from living good and joyous lives.
So as we are spiritually maturing, we recognize when we are envious or jealous.
Then we may laugh at ourselves.
And we may ask God to forgive our sin and ask God to help us to refocus on Jesus again so that Jesus could help us to overcome our own weakness.
(3) The world needs the good news of Jesus the Christ.
Everybody can use the name of Jesus to accomplish great things.
Jesus is for everyone.
Jesus is not only for our church.
But Jesus is for every church and every people.
So we may need to help each other to do the work of Jesus in this world.
And we may need to rejoice when someone else is accomplishing something great in the name of Jesus.
That is how you can live for God.
(3) So Jesus was like:
“Salt is good when salt is doing the thing that it needs to do.
If salt does not lose its saltiness, it is useful.
Likewise, you are children of God.
If you live like God, your heavenly Father, we are doing the right thing.
Then you are very useful in this place.
Then how does God live?
God is good to everyone whether they are good or not.
(3) For example, God shines his light to everyone whether they are good or not.
We are called to live like that.
We are called to be good to everyone like God:
We are called to be at peace with everyone.
Then we will be very useful in this world.
May this miracle happen in our life.
Jesus, thank you for the faith that you have given us to follow you.
Thank you for your grace and mercy toward us.
Help us to focus on you.
Help us to think of you and follow your way of life.
Then we will have your eternal blessing.
Thank you, in Jesus name, we pray.
(So a former president of South Korea, Kim Dae Jung implemented Sunshine policy toward North Korea, to bless North Korea.)