That’s the perspective today’s Gospel reading is coming from, and I want us to simply go through the first big section of it and think it over together this morning. Whenever we study a text in this way, remember that you’ll always get more out of the process if you look at it on your insert as well as listen.
John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." Here is someone who is out in the world doing Kingdom stuff, but the church is not happy because it doesn’t have their trademark on it. Did you notice how John put it? His problem with the man isn’t that he’s not following Jesus, but that he’s not following who? Us. He’s not in our group. Whoever this man is, he is making a positive contribution to God’s Kingdom, and he’s giving Jesus the credit. But rather than applaud those good effects, John is stuck on official authorization. Is his name on the rolls? Has there been a vestry vote?