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TITLE: Don't Discourage

TEXT: Mark 9:38-40

PROPOSITION: Many misunderstand this passage as it applies to the denominations and unity in the world today.


KEY WORD: Misunderstandings



  1. Church foyer with portraits of famous people.
  2. Socrates, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Ghandi, Jesus
  3. Above the collection We are all the children of God Galatians 3:26
  4. PROBLEM rest of text "through faith in Jesus Christ"
  5. Today many are saying denominational differences don't matter
  6. Our text is often cited as proof of this viewpoint.


1.       The Context of Mark 9:38-40

    1. Center of Mark's gospel is Peter's confession (8:27-30)
    2. First half leads up to Peter's confession
    3. Second half Jesus is willing to submit to death
    4. If you believe in Jesus must be willing to submit to his authority
    5. Summary 1-8 = Jesus is Lord; 9-16 = We must obey and follow

2.       The Purpose for this story

    1. 12 apostles sent on limited (to Jews only) commission
    2. Taught and baptized many, healed the sick, cast out demons
    3. Saw someone they did not know doing the same things
    4. Apostles did not understand Jesus mission
      Story follows a prediction of Jesus' death (9:31)
    5. This unknown man shows their misunderstanding about Christ's death
    6. His followers will be identified with Him (9:30-32)

3.       Discipleship Misunderstood

    1. "Look how zealous we are. Look at what we did for you!"
    2. We did not know him. He does not follow you.
    3. We tried to stop him. He refused to stop.
    4. How could he have your authority and we not know him?
    5. Jesus rebuked John Power is from God. If fraud, God will expose it.

4.       Don't Discourage Discipleship

    1. Act of hospitality cup of cold water rewarded
    2. Simple or powerful in Jesus name rewarded
    3. It would be tragic if you cause others to stop working millstone

5.       Correcting Attitudes

    1. John acted counter to the instructions of Jesus
    2. Because they were the 12 "chosen" did not give them special power

6.       Unity with denominations?

    1. Mark is showing a lack of understanding by the disciples
    2. Can you assume unknown was following different teachings?
    3. He was a disciple who did not accompany the 12
      Not different God worshipped
      Not different doctrines and practices
    4. He had the power was proof of is attachment to Jesus


  1. Christians do not decide who is a disciple of Jesus
  2. God can work through us and add others
  3. We must seek to understand the Word and teach it
  4. Are you a faithful, obedient follower of Jesus?

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