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big-fish-eat-little-ones2 Mark 5:1-20

Jesus is stronger than the storms (Mark 4:35-41).  He is stronger than death (Mark 5:21-43).  In Mark 5:1-20 He takes on an army of demons to prove Himself stronger than the Strong Man (Mark 3:27).

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Sermon in brief...

The Before and After shots of this demonized man would be something to behold!

Before: living among tombs, naked, cutting himself, unable to be held by the strongest chains, screaming out night and day.

After: Seated, dressed, in his right mind.

How powerful is Jesus?

If one boxer knocks out another that shows a certain strength

But what if one boxer simply commanded his opponent and his opponent knocked himself out.  That's power.  That's what Jesus displays.

Jesus proves Himself much the bigger fish which makes Him incredibly scary

The locals want Him gone - that kind of power, that kind of liberation even is too threatening.  We are too attached to our little slaveries to naturally want Jesus' power around.

The stunning thing is - when they ask Him to leave, He goes.

Amazingly Jesus grants the requests of the unclean spirits, He grants the request of the hostile crowd, there's only one request He denies - that of the delivered man.

This man just wants to be with Jesus - isn't that a good request?  Shouldn't Jesus grant this?

Jesus says 'no'.  Why?  He sends the man back as a missionary.

He's like us - freed to witness.  We just want to be with Jesus but there's a job to be done first.

When Jesus returns to the region in Mark 7 and 8 He feeds the 4000.  You can imagine the reunion.  The man had been witnessing in the region and had perhaps brought many people to Jesus.  On that day they would feast together.  The man back in the company of his Redeemer, feasting with Christ and with those he's brought to Christ.

Same with us.  The only reason we're not with Jesus now is that we might tell others (beginning with our family) of the Lord's mercy.  But one day we'll be face to face and we'll feast.

And in the meantime know this: Jesus is more powerful that the strongest forces of destruction in your life.  You can't change yourself - you're the littlest fish.  But He is stronger.



0 thoughts on “Stronger

  1. Bobby Grow

    Glen said:

    Same with us. The only reason we’re not with Jesus now is that we might tell others (beginning with our family) of the Lord’s mercy. But one day we’ll be face to face and we’ll feast.

    Amen! I like this "in between" meditation. Do you believe that evangelism is the only reason we are still here? I've run into some who believe there are other reasons.

  2. glenscriv

    I think "you will be my witnesses" (Acts 1:8) is our job description. Whatever we do fits under that umbrella term. Jesus is the great Doer, the great Bringer of the Kingdom. We point to His once-for-all doing.

    I wrote this paper on the issue in college - it was definitely my favourite essay.

    I really enjoyed reading Barth on the question - he was so hard-core on witness being our one task. Even when Hitler comes to power he got mad at pastors for bemoaning Mein Kampf when they should have been doing the really dangerous work of preaching from the Scriptures. Can the fight against abortion be 'witness'? Yes (but it also can fail to be). Can mission hospitals be witness? Yes (but they can also fail to be).

    But yeah I reckon witness the one thing.

  3. Bobby Grow

    I couldn't agree more, Glen! I think witness is indeed our job, what purpose. I'll have to give your essay a read.

    It seems to me, if this is our "job" then there should be a sense of urgency; since we don't know when the Lord will come back, and since we have been radically saved---like the demoniac. So often it seems that Christianity becomes so "formalized" that we become comfortable (at least in the West) (like Israel), that urgency is gone. I wonder what "theology" would look like if this sense of urgency and mission accompanied it? Probably a lot more trinitarian/relational (i.e. Acts); and less static and monadic. Ok, I'm done rambling.

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