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Mark 142 - Welcome to the Club



“Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.


Mark 9:38-40


Were you a member of “the club?” We’re you on the inside? Part of the in crowd?


There was a popular song dedicated to The In-Crowd that was recorded by Doby Gray[1]. There was an instrumental version recorded by the Ramsey Lewis Trio[2]. It was re-released by Gregory Porter in 2014[3]. The lyrics, written by Billy Page, say it all.


Any time of the year, don't you hear?

Dressin' fine, makin' time

We breeze up and down the street

We get respect from the people we meet

They make way day or night

They know the in crowd is out of sight


I'm in with the in crowd

I know every latest dance

When you're in with the in crowd

It's easy to find romance


You see, when you’re in with the “in-crowd,” life is easy. Everything falls into place, goes your way. You get the girl, get the guy, get the car, get the job, get the house, get the boat. But it wasn’t like that for me.


For some reason I’ve always, always, always felt like I was on the outside. Perhaps it comes from my name.


Chester – a Roman military term for a camp in the wilderness. It was the site of a Roman military camp or fort. Think of all the towns in Europe: Chester, Dorchester, Manchester, Chesterfield, Chichester, Rochester, Winchester, to name a few. These were built “outside” existing towns. See, “outside” the crowd.


Wallace – a stranger. Can’t get any clearer than this. Not too much to think about this one. What’s more outside “the club” than being a stranger?


It was as if God wanted me on the outside, looking in. So, I’ve had three choices throughout my life:


· Fight – try to claw my way into the "in crowd". Whenever I achieved some success at becoming part of the crown, they always, always, always disappointed and abandoned me.

· Turn away – try to ignore the fact that I was on the outside, looking in. Talk about lonely!

· Accept – acknowledge who God made me and, using everything he’s given me, pray and work hard at becoming the best I can be.


Jesus’ view of being in his “in crowd” is very simple. You’re either in or you’re out. There is no middle ground. It’s like that scene from Oceans 11[4] when Danny Oceans (George Clooney) offers Linus Caldwell (Matt Damon) a place in their crew, a place in their crowd. “You’re either in or you’re out.”


And that’s the way it is with being a follower of Jesus – you’re either in or you’re out. When you go to another county, another state, another country, there is a point where you come to the border. There is no being in both places at the same time. The journey might be short, the journey might be long. But you can only be in one place at a time.


Being a Jesus follower is stepping over the border, stepping into a new reality, into a new world. You get a new God. A new leader. A new name. A new identity. A new family. And in overwhelming gratitude, you want to do everything possible to please the one who loves you with an unending love.


The crowds here on earth will disappoint, disappear, discontinue. But not with Jesus. He never abandons. Never fails.


Isn’t this who you’ve been looking for all these days?

[1] https://youtu.be/OOWO--z1S8A?t=8 [2] https://youtu.be/5vu2tyk8cvc [3] https://youtu.be/Fv4iZDkjzj8?t=10 [4] https://youtu.be/9mKGhfKn3Kk?t=4

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