Mark 9:40
For he that is not against us is on our part.
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9:30-40 The time of Christ's suffering drew nigh. Had he been delivered into the hands of devils, and they had done this, it had not been so strange; but that men should thus shamefully treat the Son of man, who came to redeem and save them, is wonderful. Still observe that when Christ spake of his death, he always spake of his resurrection, which took the reproach of it from himself, and should have taken the grief of it from his disciples. Many remain ignorant because they are ashamed to inquire. Alas! that while the Saviour teaches so plainly the things which belong to his love and grace, men are so blinded that they understand not his sayings. We shall be called to account about our discourses, and to account for our disputes, especially about being greater than others. Those who are most humble and self-denying, most resemble Christ, and shall be most tenderly owned by him. This Jesus taught them by a sign; whoever shall receive one like this child, receives me. Many have been like the disciples, ready to silence men who have success in preaching to sinners repentance in Christ's name, because they follow not with them. Our Lord blamed the apostles, reminding them that he who wrought miracles in his name would not be likely to hurt his cause. If sinners are brought to repent, to believe in the Saviour, and to live sober, righteous, and godly lives, we then see that the Lord works by the preacher.Forbid him not - Do not prevent his doing good. If he can work a miracle in my name, it is sufficient proof of attachment to me, and he should not be prevented.

Can lightly speak evil of me - The word here rendered "lightly" means quickly or "immediately." The meaning of the passage is, that he to whom God gave the power of working a miracle, by that gave evidence that he could not be found among the enemies of Jesus. He ought not, therefore, to be prevented from doing it. There is no reason to think here that John had any improper designs in opposing the man. He thought that it was evidence that he could not be right, because he did not join them and follow the Saviour. Our Lord taught him differently. He opposed no one who gave evidence that he loved him. Wherever he might be or whatever his work, yet, if he did it in the name of Jesus and with the approbation of God, it was evidence sufficient that he was right. Christians should rejoice in good done by their brethren of any denomination. There are men calling themselves Christians who seem to look with doubt and suspicion on all that is done by those who do not walk with them. They undervalue their labors, and attempt to lessen the evidences of their success and to diminish their influence. True likeness to the Saviour would lead us to rejoice in all the good accomplished. by whomsoever it may be done - to rejoice that the kingdom of Christ is advanced, whether by a Presbyterian, an Episcopalian, a Baptist, or a Methodist. Compare Philippians 1:18.

40. For he that is not against us is on our part—Two principles of immense importance are here laid down: "First, No one will readily speak evil of Me who has the faith to do a miracle in My name; and second, If such a person cannot be supposed to be against us, ye are to consider him for us." Let it be carefully observed that our Lord does not say this man should not have "followed them," nor yet that it was indifferent whether he did or not; but simply teaches how such a person was to be regarded, although he did not—namely, as a reverer of His name and a promoter of His cause. See Poole on "Mark 9:38"

For he that is not against us, is on our part. Many copies read, "he that is not against you, is for you"; as this man; he was not against either Christ, or his disciples; he was doing the same work, promoting the same interest, and destroying the kingdom of Satan: and therefore, though he did not follow them, and had not his commission immediately from Christ; yet, inasmuch as he was opposing the same common enemy, and did nothing against them, he ought to be reckoned as one for them, and on their side. It is a proverbial expression, signifying that all that are not against a man, and take not the part of his enemy, are to be accounted his friends. For he that is not against us is on our part.
Mark 9:40. The counterpart truth to that in Matthew 10:30. Both truths, and easily harmonised. It is in both cases a question of tendency; a little sympathy inclines to grow to more, so also with a lack of sympathy. Vide on Matthew 12:30.

Mark 9:40. Ὑμῶνὑμῶν, you—on your part) Comp. ver. foll., Matthew 12:27. Jesus spake in the first person plural as to external things; Luke 22:8; Luke 18:31 : but not so as to the internal principles of His kingdom [John 20:17]. He thus gently corrects the we-us of Mark 9:38.[7]—ἜΣΤΙΝ, is) He is speaking of those who undertake something for Christ’s sake.

[7] Lachm. agrees with Beng. in reading ὑμῶνὑμῶν here, Mark 9:40, with ADGabc Vulg. But Tisch. ἡμῶνἡμῶν with BCΔ Memph.—ED. and TRANSL.

Verse 40. - For he that is not against us is for us. In St. Matthew (Matthew 12:30) we find our Lord using a somewhat similar expression, only in an inverted order. He there says, "He that is not with me is against me." The lesson which both these apothegms teach is the same, that there is no such thing as neutrality in reference to Christ and his cause. We must be either with him or against him. Dr. Morison on St. Mark in this place says, "When in applied morals we sit in judgment on ourselves, we should in ordinary circumstances apply the law obversely and stringently,' he who is not with Christ is against him.' But when we are sitting in judgment on others, into whose hearts we cannot look directly, we should in ordinary circumstances apply the law reversely and generously, ' He that is not against Christ is with him.'" Mark 9:40
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