John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him, for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. For the one who is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.
The contrast in this passage is a stark one. On one hand there are people who are casting out demons - these saw evil as their enemy. On the other hand the disciples were complaining about people who were not a part of their group - these saw people as their enemy. It is a sad fact that Christian churches compete against each other seeking fame and recognition. I cannot imagine what God must think about this sort of contentiousness.
On the flip-side Jesus speaks of a reward for those who help others in a very small way. It is like he is speaking of a unity that crosses all sorts of theological and ideological boundaries. I cannot help but think of how the focus seems to be about working together with people of all sorts of faith to fight evil in the world. Wouldn't it be a wonderful thing if Protestants, Catholics and others joined hands and fought things like poverty in the name of Christ?
Help me to keep my mind, heart and hands open to both give and receive from others.