Now the theme continues 3 Sundays in a row... .The disciples just can't seem to get it. They are not seeing the Messiah that Jesus is for the Messiah they think He should be. The continue to mistake the WAY of discipleship with Jesus in that they bicker amongst themselves about who will be greatest in the kingdom of heaven when Jesus is teaching them to seek to be the lowest, seek to be the last, seek to be the servant of all and in that way you will be first.
In today's reading they are reporting, tattling really, on one who is doing the work of the kingdom but ... "we tried to stop him, because he was not following us." to which Jesus says something that I so very much appreciate, "Whoever is not against us is for us."
In one fell swoop, Jesus crushes any notion of US VS. THEM. If THEY are doing the work we are doing of loving and caring and freeing and feeding and healing...then THEY are actually US!
This is a continuation of Jesus' teaching, I think, in the vain of who is my neighbour? Whom shall I love? To whom am I a servant?
In the kingdom that Jesus is establishing, the kingdom which the disciples are having so much difficulty wrapping the heads around, the answer to all of the above questions is ALL PEOPLE!