Wednesday Morning: 01 May 2019 – Mark 5:1-20 ~ Kingdom authority over evil spirits

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 5:1-20 (NLT)

Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Man

So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”

So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.
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Morning Reflection:

Go and Tell

As Jesus was getting into the boat,
the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him.

– Mark 5:18

In today’s reading, Mark gives us graphic details on how demonic influence distorts and destroys the image of God in a person.

The poor man was miserable – shunned by neighbors, living in burial caves, out of control in spite of attempts to restrain him, howling and hurting himself. Demonic presence controlled the man’s speech and physical movement.

But Jesus is stronger than any demonic presence – and the demons within the man recognized it.

In a surprising turn of events, they acknowledge that Jesus is their superior and plead with him for their lives. And Jesus grants their request, sort of – by permitting them to enter nearby pigs who immediately plunge down a hill and drown in the lake.

The man was transformed.

He was a new person in Christ – peaceful, fully clothed, in control of himself and his senses, and so grateful for his deliverance that he begged Jesus to go with him in the boat, as Jesus was preparing to leave.

But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family,
and tell them everything the Lord has done for you
and how merciful he has been.”
– Mark 5:19

Questions for consideration:

  • Have you ever encountered a demonized person? How did you know? What happened? Please explain.
  • How has your life changed because of encountering Jesus? Was the change evident to the people who knew you best? Please explain.
  • Think about some of the ways that God has shown you his mercy. What are the highlights? Try putting them together into a short story that you could tell to others. It might help to write it down.

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Morning Prayer:

Prayer for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted:

Heavenly Father: Comfort the families that are affected by the persecution of their loves ones. Open up safe channels and opportunities for them to support and/or visit those who are imprisoned, or otherwise detained. Empower them by your Spirit to remain faithful to you and to their loved ones, even as they wait patiently for deliverance and release. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

My prayer:

Thank you Jesus for delivering me from evil influences over the course of my life. Give me discernment to recognize demonic presence when I run into it; and show me a way of escape, that I might not sin against you. Give me clarity in remembering the many ways you have shown me your mercy, that I may have a compelling story to tell – of your love, mercy, and grace. All to the glory of your name. Amen.
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“You’ll Come” – Hillsong United

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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