Mark 9:38-40 - Can Anyone Work Miracles in Jesus Name?

Mark 9:38-40 - Can Anyone Work Miracles in Jesus Name?

Mark 9:38-40 (TNIV) "Teacher," said John, "we saw someone 
driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was 
not one of us." "Do not stop him," Jesus said. "No one who does a 
miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for 
whoever is not against us is for us. 

To perform a miracle in the name of Jesus would be to recognize 
His power and authority. One who did a miracle in Christ's name 
would not immediately contradict the very power on which he depended 
for the performance of the miracle... Obviously a man cannot be both 
for and against Jesus at the same time. If the man James and John 
rebuked was found doing the same work Jesus did, and doing it in the 
name of Jesus, it must be that God was working with and through him. 
[SDA Commentary] 

  "Master," he said, "we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, 
and he followeth not us: and we forbade him, because he followeth 
not us."   
  James and John had thought that in checking this man they had 
had in view their Lord's honor; they began to see that they were 
jealous for their own. They acknowledged their error, and accepted the 
reproof of Jesus, "Forbid him not: for there is no man which shall do a 
miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of Me." None who showed 
themselves in any way friendly to Christ were to be repulsed. There were 
many who had been deeply moved by the character and the work of 
Christ, and whose hearts were opening to Him in faith; and the 
disciples, who could not read motives, must be careful not to discourage 
these souls. When Jesus was no longer personally among them, and the 
work was left in their hands, they must not indulge a narrow, 
exclusive spirit, but manifest the same far-reaching sympathy which they 
had seen in their Master.   
  The fact that one does not in all things conform to our 
personal ideas or opinions will not justify us in forbidding him to labor 
for God. Christ is the Great Teacher; we are not to judge or to 
command, but in humility each is to sit at the feet of Jesus, and learn 
of Him. Every soul whom God has made willing is a channel through 
which Christ will reveal His pardoning love. How careful we should be 
lest we discourage one of God's light bearers, and thus intercept the 
rays that He would have shine to the world!   
  Harshness or coldness shown by a disciple toward one whom 
Christ was drawing--such an act as that of John in forbidding one to 
work miracles in Christ's name--might result in turning the feet into 
the path of the enemy, and causing the loss of a soul. {DA 437-438}  

  At first glance, it appears a noble thing that Jesus' 
disciples kept such careful guard over the orthodoxy of Jesus' ministry. 
They found someone casting out demons in Jesus' name who was not a 
part of their group and not under their control, and they demanded 
that he stop. Yet Jesus saw through His disciples' hypocrisy. The 
disciples themselves had been given the power to drive out demons as well 
(Mt 10:8), yet they had failed miserably (Mk 9:28). 
  How it must have embarrassed the disciples to have publicly 
failed to cast out a demon from a young boy. Yet, here was someone 
successfully exorcising demons who was not even regularly with Jesus as they 
were. They should have been concerned with their own lack of spiritual 
power and vitality. They should have felt convicted by their Lord's 
stinging rebuke at their lack of faith (Mt 17:20). Instead, they focused 
on others. Rather than repenting of their sin and grieving over 
their spiritual impotence, the disciples attempted to hinder someone 
who was enjoying spiritual success. 
  At times, it is easier to diminish others' spiritual victories 
than to honestly confront our own failures. Jesus' response to His 
disciples must have surprised them as He said, "Do not forbid him" (Mk 
9:39). He assured them that "he who is not against us is on our side" 
(v. 40). Have you learned this vital lesson? Are you able to 
genuinely rejoice in the spiritual victories of others? Are you 
encouraging those who serve the Lord in a different way or who belong to a 
different group than you do? [Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry and 
Richard Blackaby re Mark 9:38] 

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you 
love one another. John 13:35 (TNIV)