Friday, March 13, 2009

Mark 5:1-20

It's a little late. I know, but here are some thoughts concerning the passage we went over during Monday's men's Bible study.

When I first looked at this passage I thought "What the heck are we going to be discussing?" I really didn't want to get into a discussion about demon possession. (If you haven't read the passage yet you might want to stop and read it now. Just click here.) But as I got further into the passage I began to realize the valuable lesson it contained.

I'll just summarize it very quickly. After Jesus calms the storm they land on the other side of the sea. We can only guess why he went to the other side of the sea into a different country, but we do know that wherever he went he shared the Good News. Upon getting on the other side they are met by a man possessed with many demons. They instantly recognize Jesus and ask for mercy. Jesus sends them into a heard of pigs (about two thousand) and as a result the pigs race headlong into the sea and drown. The man is thus relieved of the demons but at a great cost. Jesus is no longer welcomed and is told to leave. So Jesus turns to go home but before he departs the previously demon possessed man asks to accompany him to which Jesus responds "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." The man departs from Jesus and begins to proclaim what Jesus had done for him.

There are many ways we can look at this story. First we can focus on the demon possession becoming so fascinated by the concept that we miss the true point of the story. Second, we can see this as a major failure on Jesus' part which again would blind us from the true point of the story. The true focus should be on the demon possessed man. Jesus could have gone into the country of the Gaderenes and spent time proclaiming the Gospel, but he knew his time was short. Instead, he healed a man who, because of his infamy, could go forth and speak the Good News knowing that people would listen.

What's the lesson? God uses everyone of us in the same way. Each of us who follow God should be able to point out instances of God's hand in our lives. If we can't then we are not following him as we should be. Most people will not have a dramatic story such as this demoniac, but we each should have some story of how God intervened. These are powerful tools used by God to witness to the world.

Don't ever say you don't have anything to offer when it comes to sharing the Good News. The closer you grow to Jesus; the more you become like him will result in more events of God's intervention. These you will be able to use as you proclaim the Good News to all those around you. God uses your stories to get people's attention.

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