What should you get out of reading the story of the demon-possessed man in Mark 5:1-20 who slept in caverns with dead people and who demonstrated his condition by screaming crazily and by cutting himself?
This was the text of the sermon today at Ada Bible Church where we attend and it's part of a summer series entitled Simply Jesus which digs into many of the things Jesus said and did and to apply what we learn to our everyday life.
I've either heard or read this story of this man that Jesus encountered after sailing with his disciples from Capernaum across the Sea of Galilee to the area of the Gerasenes. They were met by this mad man. Even though I've been exposed to this story all my adult life, I have never had it applied to my everyday, mid-Michigan life.
I guess my focus was on the wrong person, the demon-possessed man and not on the mercy of Jesus. The man ran to Jesus and knelt down. The demons inside the man resisted but Jesus was more powerful and restored this man to sanity and clear-thinking.
The story is about the power and holiness of Jesus and his mercy in the life of this man and his mercy in my everyday life. Do I have a "mercy story" in my life? Have I tapped into his mercy as the sands of my life pass through the hour glass?
Yes and yes. I've been thinking about this story and its relevance to me all day. This story is assurance that if I receive what God is offering me then I will be okay regardless of what happens.
What else? I'm going to follow the Beyond the Weekend exercises in the church bulletin for today's sermon and I want to meditate on it much more. His mercy is what gives me true hope and I don't want to take my focus off that.