The Mystery Person of Luke 9:49, WTBTS Friend of Foe?

by Valis 20 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • Valis

    "And John answered and said, 'Master, we saw someone casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow with us.' And Jesus said to him, 'Do not forbid him, for he who is not against us is for us'." (Luke 9:49,50, NKJ)

    Who was this person? AND In your experience in the TMS was it used or avoided? One would think this saying of Jesus would refute the JWs being the one and only religion.


    District Overbeer

  • imallgrowedup
    he who is not against us is for us'."

    Hmmmmm..... *feeling a bit cheeky*... This sounds like a quote recorded by a dyslexic reporter who was listening in on W's speech where he drew the line in the sand with all other nations in the wake of 9/11!

    Actually, you have a good point, Valis. I interpret it the same way. I wonder if the WT has ever addressed this specific scripture, or if it has been conveniently "overlooked"?


  • Valis
    Valis would you like to be the poor slob who had to work their way around that one from thestage..eheh..


    District Overbeer

  • imallgrowedup

    Valis -

    Thank goodness us lowly females would never have to worry about that problem! I can't imagine being the poor sucker having to spin that in order to make it palatable, but I can tell you that from the audience, I bet it would be a pure entertainment delight!

    (two-thumbs up!)


  • Narkissos

    In the "Greatest Man" book, chapter 63:

    Further Corrective Counsel

    WHILE Jesus and his apostles are still in the house in Capernaum, something besides the apostles? argument over who is the greatest is discussed. This is an incident that may also have occurred on their return to Capernaum, when Jesus was not personally present. The apostle John reports: "We saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us."

    Evidently John views the apostles as an exclusive, title-holding team of healers. So he feels that the man was performing powerful works improperly because he was not part of their group.

    However, Jesus counsels: "Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; for he that is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink on the ground that you belong to Christ, I truly tell you, he will by no means lose his reward."

    It was not necessary for this man bodily to follow Jesus to be on his side. The Christian congregation had not yet been set up, so his not being part of their group did not mean that he was of a separate congregation. The man really had faith in Jesus? name and thus succeeded in expelling demons. He was doing something that compared favorably with what Jesus said was deserving of a reward. Jesus shows that for doing this, he will not lose his reward.

    But what if the man was stumbled by the words and actions of the apostles? This would be very serious! Jesus observes: "Whoever stumbles one of these little ones that believe, it would be finer for him if a millstone such as is turned by an ass were put around his neck and he were actually pitched into the sea."

    Jesus says that his followers should remove from their lives anything as dear to them as a hand, a foot, or an eye that may cause them to stumble. Better to be without this cherished thing and enter into God?s Kingdom than to hold on to it and be pitched into Gehenna (a burning rubbish heap near Jerusalem), which symbolizes eternal destruction.

    Jesus also warns: "See to it that you men do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that their angels in heaven always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven." He then illustrates the preciousness of "little ones" when he tells about a man who possesses a hundred sheep but loses one. The man will leave the 99 to search for the lost one, Jesus explains, and on finding it will rejoice more over it than over the 99. "Likewise," Jesus then concludes, "it is not a desirable thing with my Father who is in heaven for one of these little ones to perish."

    Isn't that nice?

  • Euphemism

    And of course, two chapters later, Luke records Jesus as saying:

    Lu 11:23He that is not on my side is against me, and he that does not gather with me scatters.

    Who says that the Bible doesn't contradict itself?

  • simwitness

    Perhaps it was JCanon ??

  • Noumenon

    Forgive me for defending the bible (oooohhhh), but I don't see that Jesus is contradicting himself. In His words "for he that is not against us is for us" is spoken of in the context of those who are showing at least some faith in him. His later words "He that is not on my side is against me, and he that does not gather with me scatters" is spoken in the context of disproving his accusers false claim that he was only able to expel the demons by means of Satan. They are two entirely different situations.

  • SYN

    Personally, I think the Apostle Paul was having a prophetic vision of Bush's State of the Nation speech of last year. It's only a pity that the phrase "Axis of Evil" didn't make it down the prophetic pipeline, so to speak. Or maybe that's what the harlot riding on the multi-headed tiger was all about, who knows?

    That's the trouble with ancient prophetic dudes, they're really not available for a question and answer session. *sigh*

  • peacefulpete

    Excellent question! This passage is brushed aside by JWs and sectarian Xtianity as a whole. It seems to represent a tradition of ecumenicism. But who and when would endorse such an idea? The Gnostics? Not at leas the later ones The Proto-orthodoxy? Not likely as these folks deemed any other sects as heretics. Does this thenrepresent a very early form of the story? It's theorized that Luke was compiledfrom an earlier document (called UrLuke) and the Pauline texts. Does this passage reflect the UrLuke form of the story? The later version (Luke 11.14-23) of the story concludes with the opposite response from Jesus. This seems more consistant with the later Orthodox condemnation of rival sects. The two stories are in my opinion related as both have under discussion the expelling of demons by someone other than Jesus and his posse. The chapter 11 form must be a later insertion because it presents a theology about the Kingdom as metaphysical rather than literal. Also the healing of a mute man (altho it is said to be by exorcism) seems a likely later developement (see other thread, Jesus gave no signs). Also verse 16 stands alone as an interuption to the story, possibly retained from the original text (connected to verse 29) but sandwiched between elements that contradict it. Verses 27,28 are late antidocetic additions.

    If any of the above is true then the Luke 9.49 story is the older of the two and may reveal an ecumenical primitive Xtianiy.

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