May 17, 2015
By John Ulrich, Senior Pastor
In the story of a demon possessed man in Mark 5:1-20, Jesus brought disruption into people’s lives…and that disruption had a cost.
1. Observations on the miracle itself: Jesus has spiritual authority.
This demon-possessed man presented a hopeless situation: mad, insane, broken loose of chains, living alone among the tombs, and in pain (cutting himself). Beyond the man himself, this miracle involved a formidable enemy to Jesus: a legion of demons, evil spirits.
Yet as Jesus faced increasingly difficult situations in this gospel, His authority just seemed to expand. The demons in the man recognized and confessed Jesus’ authority to punish them by calling Him, “Son of the Most High God” (Mark 5:7).
In a very visible and dramatic demonstration of authority, Jesus cured the man by casting the demons into a giant herd of 2000 pigs, and the herd charged into the sea. The local folks (Geresenes) tending the pigs would see that Jesus was real and that He could deliver people with incredible spiritual authority.
2. Response of the community to Jesus and the miracle: Jesus’ authority disrupts.
Yet if He had shown such authority and power, why did “the people (in the community) began to plead with Jesus to leave their region? (Mark 5:17) The block was the 2000 pigs: They would rather have this fellow lost and crazy and have their pigs, than have Jesus in their neighborhood.
If we are really honest, we will realize that some of us have chosen not to come to Christ because our lives might just be disrupted….and it might cost us something. In fact, there might be a serious cost in discipleship: it might change things. Some of us do not want our lives disrupted…so we never come alive in Christ.
It is not that we have to rid ourselves of each and every sin before we can come to Christ. Indeed, most of us do not understand what “is” and “is not” sin in our lives. We simply have to hand Him the keys, place our trust in Christ, and surrender with our will.
Once we trust Jesus for our salvation (as new believers), and our daily lives (as disciples), we can expect that He is going to disrupt things. Once we give Jesus control, He is going to change our hopes and dreams…and change our lives.
3. Response of the man himself who had been possessed: Jesus’ authority gives life.
If Jesus brings us disruption, why would we want Him to stay? Unlike the other people in the community, the man who had been possessed wanted more of Jesus and “begged to go with Him.” (Mark 5:18) This man, whose life had been disrupted, had found wholeness, real life.
The disruption to this man in Mark 5 had certainly not been easy, but it changed his life forever. He had responded by his will, not just intellectual assent, with trust to Jesus, and the result was life in every part of his heart.
That you turn to Jesus with your will, disruptions and all, and welcome Him to every part of your life, so that you can find the true life that only He gives.