The gospel is a collection of pronouncements of Jesus on the topics of acceptance, hospitality and scandal. Like Joshua in the first reading, John challenges someone who is not a member of the close knit group of disciples, but who presumes to perform the marvels that they have been commissioned to perform. Jesus responds that this man is not an enemy, nor do his exorcisms undermine Jesus’ ministry. Jesus continues to justify works of mercy performed in his name. They are commendable and will be highly rewarded regardless of how insignificant they may appear to be. Jesus then warns against giving scandal. Those who cause Christians to sin will be severely punished.