we begin with the answer? Here is the doctrine which is underlying this
of Nazareth is indeed God in the flesh.
is the creator and sustainer of the universe.
power matches his authority; and he has all authority.
power, by the providence of God, is available to all who believe.
providence is given for God’s purposes, not necessarily ours.
is so simple, isn’t it?
Mar 4:35-41 NASB
On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, "Let
us go over to the other side." (36)
Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was;
and other boats were with Him. (37) And there
*arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much
that the boat was already filling up. (38)
Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and
*said to Him, "Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?" (39) And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to
the sea, "Hush, be still." And the
wind died down and it became perfectly calm. (40)
And He said to them, "Why are you afraid? Do you
still have no faith?" (41) They
became very much afraid and said to one another, "Who then is this, that
even the wind and the sea obey Him?"
is he asleep?
Jesus did not have a lesson to deliver, he could certainly have arranged
passage on a tranquil night. So we may assume he had some purpose. Somehow,
we may presume, his being asleep was part of this. From his slumber, can we
it tells you that Christ is fully human. Real human beings need to sleep
(though not, please, during class.)
is another reason having to do with the weather. The disciples did not
see the storm as supernatural, but an ordinary event. Jesus doesn’t want
to be awakened until the disciples are desperate.
he makes it clear to them that their lack of faith is no limit to his
power. For this, he needs a well developed storm. Hence, he sleeps.
was the storm calmed “at once?”
because he didn’t want them thinking it was just some sort of fluke
coincidence. But we might advance a couple of other thoughts:
of all the times in the Old Testament someone did something miraculous
regarding water. Moses parting the Red Sea, Joshua the Jordan, Elisha the
Jordan – all these used a talisman. Moses had his staff; Joshua the ark;
Elisha had Elijah’s mantle. Christ calms the sea with but a word of
command. These others were given power; Christ has it in himself.
also just possible that Christ had in mind something of a personal
lesson. Note that there are other boats on the water – but only the
disciples get the lesson. He thus obligates the disciples to explain this
calm to those in the other boats. This will be an aid to humility, at
teaches by word, by parable and here by example. The first simple lesson is
that we are not to be confounded by our troubles. Tribulation is an
opportunity to go before the throne of grace. But how? With boldness, we are
We must learn and not repeat the mistake. We also need to see that tribulation
comes so that our faith may be made stronger, not our panic.
if there is one thing that comes through this for the follower of Christ, it is
this: in the presence of Christ nothing but humility is appropriate. If we
will not give it, he will provide for it.
Mar 5:1-20 NIV The
Healing of a Demon-possessed Man
went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. (2) When
Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil
spirit came from the tombs to meet him. (3)
This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with
a chain. (4) For he had often been chained
hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No
one was strong enough to subdue him. (5)
Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself
with stones. (6) When he saw Jesus from a
distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. (7) He shouted at the top of his voice, "What
do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you
won't torture me!" (8) For Jesus had
said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" (9) Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
"My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." (10) And he begged Jesus again and again not to send
them out of the area. (11) A large herd of
pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. (12)
The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into
them." (13) He gave them permission, and
the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand
in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. (14) Those tending the pigs ran off and reported
this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had
happened. (15) When they came to Jesus, they
saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there,
dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. (16)
Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed
man--and told about the pigs as well. (17)
Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. (18) As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who
had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. (19)
Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how
much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." (20) So the man went away and began to tell in the
Decapolishow much Jesus had done
for him. And all the people were amazed.
demons exist ?
is common today, even among Christians, to say that demons don’t exist; it’s
really just mental illness. But I would have you consider two pieces of
pigs. How does mental illness spread to pigs – and so fast?
Ask those who work in third world countries, especially among those who
however, argue that demons cannot exist. They are, after all, not made
of matter and energy, and all things that exist are made of matter and energy –
because that’s all there is in the universe. But let me give you a couple of
bear with me, we define the universe as all matter and energy in all times
and places, then I submit that there must be something “outside.” Why?
Well, did the universe create itself? It is absurd. Whatever (Christians
would say Whoever) created the universe cannot be a part of the universe.
Therefore something “other” must exist. We call that spirit.
the universe ceased to exist tomorrow morning, would the Pythagorean
theorem still be true? If it would, then truth exists “outside” the
must begin with the fact that the demons are the servants of Satan – the father
of lies. Anything we learn directly from the demons must therefore be viewed
with great suspicion. What we can see in this passage comes down to:
seek to control or dominate those they can.
they need a body – even a pig.
than that, we know that they often try to deliver the results of magic. Magic
is a cheap shortcut for science; but the purpose of both is the same. We want
to manipulate the universe to our pleasure.
reaction to this deliverance is rather interesting. Consider:
herdsmen take fright, then flight. The fact that this man is now in his
right mind counts very little against the bill for two thousand pigs.
locals therefore come to Jesus and ask him to leave – which, being the
perfect gentleman, he does.
familiar? Our world likes Jesus the gentle, but wants no part of Jesus the
strong. We want our god to be a tame one.
Mar 5:21-43 NIV
When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large
crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. (22)
Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he
fell at his feet (23) and pleaded earnestly
with him, "My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on
her so that she will be healed and live." (24)
So Jesus went with him.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. (25)
And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. (26) She had suffered a great deal under the care of
many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew
worse. (27) When she heard about Jesus, she
came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, (28) because she thought, "If I just touch his clothes, I
will be healed." (29) Immediately her
bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her
suffering. (30) At once Jesus realized that
power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, "Who
touched my clothes?" (31) "You see
the people crowding against you," his disciples answered, "and yet
you can ask, 'Who touched me?' " (32)
But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. (33)
Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet
and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. (34)
He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be
freed from your suffering." (35) While
Jesus was still speaking, some men came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue
ruler. "Your daughter is dead," they said. "Why bother the
teacher any more?" (36) Ignoring what
they said, Jesus told the synagogue ruler, "Don't be afraid; just
believe." (37) He did not let anyone
follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. (38) When they came to the home of the synagogue
ruler, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly. (39) He went in and said to them, "Why all this
commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep." (40) But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child's father and mother and the
disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. (41) He took her by the hand and said to her,
"Talitha koum!" (which means, "Little girl, I say to you, get
up!" ). (42) Immediately the girl stood
up and walked around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely
astonished. (43) He gave strict orders not to
let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
must deal with the woman first, for she sets the example for Jairus. Most
clearly, she sets and example in humility. How so?
has been ceremonially unclean for twelve years. She’s living in
touches his garment from behind – not worthy to look on his face.
dares not ask the Master anything – just grasp.
faith is obvious, and is therefore an example. Christ rewards this by telling
her to “go in peace.” Compare that to the anxiety she has had. Not just healing,
but peace from God – see then that healing has its psychological side as well.
of all, though, she is an example to Jairus, the synagogue ruler. But it leads
one to ask: why did God have her suffer physically and as an outcast,
is significant that Jesus takes sufficient time so that when he arrives the
young girl is dead. This sounds cruel, but consider what it means to us:
is a greater miracle, healing sickness or raising from the dead?
have hear an example of the resurrection of the dead – which is promised
to us by the one who did it.
man was most likely one of “ordinary holiness” – not super-saint but pillar of
the church variety. Did he come to Jesus with anger in his heart, asking why
such things happen to good people like himself? We don’t know – but we do know
he didn’t ask. The tragedy before him and the example of the woman have
combined to make him a man humbled before God.
of these came to Jesus, and give us an example when we go before the throne of
We should approach
him in humility, remembering who we are. If you are too humble, God should be
able to correct that fairly quickly.
We should approach
him in faith.
We should approach
him as one knowing him, and his power.
these three incidents have a thread between them? Yes; they show the power and
authority of Christ:
authority over things natural
authority over things spiritual
authority over all our troubles
is given to him; therefore, seek his face.