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Jesus and Paul on Tolerance: The Strange Exorcist and the Strange Concession

Carl B. Bridges
Professor of New Testament
Johnson Bible College

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This essay deals with two scriptures often overlooked: Jesus' response to the so-called strange exorcist (Mark 9:38-41; Luke 9:49-50) and Paul's curious remark to believers who might hold views different from his (Phil 3:15-16). The meaning of Jesus' "soft" statement that "he who is not against you is for you" becomes clearer when placed alongside the "hard" saying: "The one not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters" (Matt 12:30; Luke 11:23). In the Philippians passage we find that when people disagree with him personally, Paul can put up with it; but when they attack his gospel, he fights back. We find both in Jesus and in Paul a surprising tolerance for people who differ from the norm in thinking or in group allegiance. Loyalty to Christ and the core of the gospel makes all the difference.

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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



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