There is a parallel between today’s reading from Numbers and the Gospel reading from Mark. Joshua begged Moses to order Eldad and Medad to stop prophesying. Moses rebuked Joshua, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were Prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit on them!”
Meanwhile, in the Gospel, we hear John say to Jesus, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” Jesus ordered John to not stop him. “Whoever is not against us is for us.”
Behind both scripture passages is an assumption that it is only certain voices and players who are given credence as prophetic or as healers. Both Moses and Jesus recognize that many individuals, not just those who follow their way of proceeding, are able to be effective. However, their companions seem to be threatened by outsiders who are doing good things.