38 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to restrain him, because he was not following us.” 39 But Jesus said, “Do not restrain him; because no one who does a miracle in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. 40 Because whoever is not against us is for us. 41 For I guarantee you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. 42 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a donkey’s millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea.
There were other disciples of Christ besides the famous twelve, whom he called as apostles. This passage gives us some insight into how the twelve viewed those others. They were tempted to treat them as competition. But Jesus warned against that. He knew that the Holy Spirit would use a diverse church to accomplish a diverse mission. So, Jesus warned the disciples not to put an obstacle – a stumbling block before these others.
In the church today there are also differences. This is of God. Our job is to cooperate with those who serve the same Christ from different traditions and with different ideas and emphases. We need to allow the kingdom to be bigger than our concept of it.
LORD, give us godly tolerance for the great diversity that is your body.