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.”—Mark 9:38
I’ve been a fan of the Green Bay Packers my whole life. There were times as a kid that they weren’t easy to follow because they didn’t win a lot. I even admit that I jumped on the 49ers bandwagon for a while when Joe Montana was the quarterback.
Every sports base has a loyal following. The fans who will show up whether the team is winning or losing to cheer them on. Living in Illinois, I know a lot of Cub fans and they are very loyal fans who have known a lot of disappointment.
In Sunday’s Gospel, the disciples are all worked up because there are people casting out demons in Jesus’ name. And they want Jesus to stop them. The disciples are claiming to be the loyal fan base that have been with Jesus through thick and thin and who are these “fair weather fans” jumping on the Jesus bandwagon.
We’ve all seen it. Your team starts winning and all of a sudden people are coming out of the woodwork claiming to have been loyal fans all along but the jerseys and t-shirts in their closet tell a different story.
But Jesus has a perspective on this that most fans do not. “But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us.” Jesus will go on to tell his disciples about the cost of following him. This won’t be an easy path to follow. They may just need all of the support that they can get.
God’s Peace, Pastor Steve