Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Powers That Be

If Jesus is Lord even over demons, how should I respond?
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. ~Mark 5:1,2

I really appreciated Nathan’s message this past Sunday and especially the point he made about the sovereignty of Jesus over all creation. Nathan said “if Jesus is sovereign ruler overall He has to have power over all things, including demons.” That is a very insightful statement and one we as Christians should be pointing out more often to this rebellious world we live in. Jesus is Lord over all and this account of the demoniac is evidence of it. The demons controlling this man’s behavior saw Jesus coming and came to Him and submissively pleaded for mercy. Some people call that worship.

 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” ~Mark 5:6,7

Is it odd to think demons would see the Son of God, rush into His presence and fall down to their knees and acknowledge His sovereignty over their very existence? It isn't so strange when you realize and understand Who Jesus is. He is God in the flesh and one day everyone, including demons and the most convinced atheist, will bow their knees and follow suit by proclaiming the lordship of Christ.

Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. ~Philippians 2:9-11

Nathan touched on four topics from this passage:

  1. The power of demons (destructive
  2. The power of Jesus (delivering
  3. The power of unbelief (damning
  4. The power of a changed life (drawing

The topic which struck me hardest was the last one about the power of a changed life. Again, noting the sovereignty and power of Jesus, even over demons, we should realize His sovereignty and lordship extends to our lives as well. If the presence of Christ should provoke such a response out of demons, then what sort of response should we expect to see out of one whom Jesus has redeemed from the power of sin and death? I think Nathan said it best when he pointed out how those who are saved by Jesus want to follow Jesus. The unnamed man in this passage wanted to...

As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. ~Mark 5:18

What better demonstration of real saving power and lordship is there than the changed life of this man? He knew exactly what it was he had been delivered from and recognized the lordship of Jesus over his life. He then pleaded with Jesus, as the demons had done earlier, begging that he might now spend his life travelling with Christ!

People, who are saved by Jesus, want to follow Jesus.

As it is noted in the passage, Jesus denied the man’s petition and instead sent him home with a missionary’s task... go and be a witness to the mercy of God and His power to save. That was his calling... that is our calling.

And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. ~Mark 5:19,20

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