Now John answered and said, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.” Luke 9:49
I personally wonder at and I’m impressed by this ‘SOMEONE.’ Here he is, doing with great ease what the disciples just recently failed at, exorcising demon spirits, yet, he is not in their group – the group of those chosen by Jesus, closest to Jesus, traveling with Jesus and being taught by Jesus.
This ‘someone’ must have a great attitude, for he does not begrudge the fact that he is not chosen to be one of the twelve; “…He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He named apostles” Luke 13:12. This is remarkable when one considers the fact that he seems to show great interest, aptitude and faith in Jesus and in His teachings perhaps, more than the ones chosen. It follows that God’s election is not based on merits (I Corinthians 1:26); so if you are chosen to do anything for God, it is a privilege, it is not because you are better than those not chosen; it is election by grace.
Nonetheless, this someone understands that just because you are not chosen does not mean that you are rejected and also, not making the ‘team’ does not mean you are useless and hopeless. He understands that if Jesus will have to choose only 12, some people will not make the list; there will be those included and those excluded. However, he realizes that being excluded from the 12 does not mean exclusion from following Jesus ‘from a distance’ (in today’s world, I will say, reading His materials, listening to His audio CDs or watching His videos on YouTube), it does not mean he should stop following and does not mean he should not do anything to further the cause of Jesus.
So, this someone decides not to sulk, not to throw tantrums, not to quit following, not to start a smear campaign about Jesus and His team, but to roll up his sleeves and to work for the cause of the Gospel of the Kingdom. The sky is wide enough for every bird to fly. He decides to contribute his quota, in fact, he is so busy, yes, too busy, to notice that John isn’t happy with him and is seeking permission to come and stop his work. Indeed, busy hands leave no room for jealous minds.
Would you be that unique ‘someone’ with a great attitude, who will not despise the leader of his team or begrudge others that have been chosen to lead, but support them and play your part to fulfill a common goal in your office, study group, local assembly, community, family, or wherever you serve with others? Can you look past your own interests to the interest of Christ and that of others?
Lord, irrespective of the position I occupy in a team, help me to work heartily as unto You and not men. May I not be envious or be jealous of those in the spotlight, but see what You have put in my hands as equally important in Jesus’ name.