Now John answered Him, saying, “Teacher, we saw someone who does not follow us casting out demons in Your name, and we forbade him because he does not follow us.” But Jesus said, “Do not forbid him, for no one who works a miracle in My name can soon afterward speak evil of Me. For he who is not against us is on our side.”
It is a great thing to learn that each servant of Christ must act individually as before the Lord and yet, on the other hand, that he is responsible to cooperate with his fellow servants so far as possible, without seeking to control or dictate to them.
We are always prone to forget that we are not to judge one another, but to remember that each one stands or falls to his own master (Romans 14:4). But this should not make us self-centered and disinterested in the work of others. The trials of our fellow-servants should move us to prayer on their behalf, and their victories should cause us to rejoice. We cannot properly appraise even our work now, let alone that of our brethren, but all will come out when “the Lord comes” (1 Corinthians 4:1–5).
It seemed hard for our Lord’s disciples to learn these things, and it is evident that few of us have learned them today. We are so apt to overestimate the importance of our own ministry and to undervalue the work of our fellow servants. This is a subtle form of pride which is most hateful to God, and most harmful to the work of the Lord.
Ah, the judgment-seat was not for thee—
These servants, they were not thine:
And the Eye which adjudges the praise and the blame,
Sees further far than thine.
Wait till the evening falls, my child,
Wait till the evening falls;
The Master is near, and knoweth it all—
Wait till the Master calls.
H. A. Ironside, The Continual Burnt Offering: Daily Meditations on the Word of God (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1994), 191–192.