MATTHEW 12: 30 AND MARK 9: 40 HARMONIZED
Scriptures are cited from the King James (Authorized) Version, unless stated otherwise.
Question: How can we harmonize Matthew 12: 30 and Mark 9: 40?
Matthew 12: 30: “He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me
Mark 9: 40: “For he that is not against us is on our part.”
Answer: In considering Matthew 12: 30, let us recognize that the Jewish Age Harvest was
underway. Jesus and His disciples were in the process of separating the symbolic wheat and
chaff by preaching the harvest message and seeking out the “Israelites indeed” to come out of
the nominal Jewish system, to become His disciples and to associate with Him and His disciples
in the harvest work. Furthermore, the Jewish Harvest at the end of the Jewish Age corresponds
with the Gospel Age Harvest at the end of the Gospel Age, so our Lord’s words apply equally to
In the Jewish Harvest, practically all the leading theologians, Doctors of the Law, priests and the
leading prominent Pharisees opposed Jesus and that harvest work. Similarly, in the Gospel
Harvest, the strongest opponents have been the Doctors of Divinity and those prominent in
religious matters. In both Harvests there have also been those like Nicodemus, who visited Jesus
at night. Though sympathetic toward our Lord and his work secretly, he outwardly supported the
Jewish system. Additionally, there has been a third class in both Harvests – those who have
recognized present truth, who have recognized the harvest time and work, and were even
gathered out, yet began to scatter abroad, to hinder the harvest work by attempting to sow
discord among the harvest workers. In some cases, there have been those who have sought to do
a separate harvest work, according to their own preferences.
Jesus’ words were a timely warning to His disciples in both Harvests, to beware lest selfishness
or personal ambition gain any place in their hearts or conduct.
Let us now consider Mark 9: 40. Our Lord’s disciples had just witnessed a man casting out
devils in Jesus’ name, but he did not follow them, so the disciples forbade him from doing that
work; but Jesus told them not to forbid the man (Mark 9: 38, 39). Our Lord here taught His
disciples an important principle that is still true. Whenever we witness anyone doing a good
work, let us be sympathetic to the extent that we discern they have good hearts. The Lord has not
given any of us a right to supervise His work, nor to forbid another to preach the Gospel. The
Lord is capable of stopping any work that He desires to stop. We are not to insist upon our own
views as infallible, nor should we criticize those who disagree, but regard as “brethren” all who
confess Jesus as Savior.
From the above explanations, we can see that there is no contradiction between the two