February 24, 2011

A Drink of Water

Jesus & The Woman at the Well
I am in the process of moving and haven't had a lot of time to write these past few weeks. I have been doing a lot of thinking, though. One thing I've been thinking about is fear, especially overcoming fear and distinguishing between negative fear, which leads to paralysis and death, and positive fear, which leads to true wisdom from God. These thoughts, though wonderful and worth looking into later on when I'm not moving, have been eclipsed by another thought...one that I can actually focus on without much time and effort during these next few hectic weeks of moving.

Here it is: Jesus' words. Some of the things he said were downright scandalous, and I want to highlight some of these amazing and scandalous ideas He proposed. Here's one I came across today:

Mark 9:38-41 (NIV)
"Teacher," said John, "we saw a man 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. I tell you the truth, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to Christ will certainly not lose his reward."

Okay, so first of all I see that people other than the disciples were casting out demons in Jesus' name. How does that even happen? I'm thinking that people were seeing what the disciples were doing and the freedom it was bringing, and they wanted to see their friends and family members get free, so they copied them.

And John was worried about it.

(Well, we know worry is never from God.)

So John tells Jesus about it. Not only does Jesus tell him not to worry about it, but He takes it to a whole other level...

He says, "Whoever is not against us is for us."

What??? I read that and think that this means that my neighbor, who is a different religion than I am, is "safe" from judgment because they know I'm a Christian and they're still kind to me. Am I wrong to be thinking this works for anyone...of any religion?

A Drink of Water
He goes even farther and tells me that not only is my neighbor on my team if he is for me, but also that anyone who gives me a drink of water because I belong to Christ, that person will receive their reward in heaven.

I read this and get two different things out of the passage...first of all, he's not just saying believers. He's saying that anyone who takes care of me is going to be rewarded...period...

There's another thing I read here..."receive his reward." This implies that rewards are stored up in heaven for everyone...I have heard this preached in a different way...that our names are written in the book of life, and they have to be blotted out. Every person born has their name written in the book of life! And Jesus is here saying that every person has a reward in heaven, and if someone gives me a drink of water because they know I'm a Christian, even if they have not yet made a commitment to Christ, they are going to receive their reward in heaven!

Wow! Scandalous indeed.

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