“John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you”” (Luke 9:49–50).
“For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth” (1 Corinthians 3:4–7).
It happened among the disciples and was repeated at the church in Corinth. Both were taking sides and developing an ‘us/them’ attitude. So many believers have their favorite preachers or teachers and figure that everyone else in every church should be listening to and following them. As Jesus and Paul both point out, that thinking is placing our focus in the wrong place. Paul makes it very plain that “neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything”! The proper question we should be asking is, “what is God doing and what is His truth? Is He giving growth and is the Word increasing so HIS work advances and HE is glorified?”
Whenever we exalt people, however good they may be in the Lord’s work, we are detracting from the glory that belongs to God alone. Jesus warned that “when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” (John 5:44), it becomes a hindrance to faith and obedience. Pause and consider!