Highlights In Today's Reading:
You think you had a busy day! Jesus is in a boat just off shore, teaching a crowd about spiritual growth and the Kingdom of God (4:1-34). At even (4:35) He calms the sea (4:39), rebukes demons, heals an issue of blood, and raises the dead (4:35 — 5:1-43)!
A demon-possessed man always, night and day . . . was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him (5:5-6). Then, when the Master drew near, he cried out again with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of the Most High God? I adjure Thee by God, that Thou torment me not (5:7). Jesus calmly said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit (5:8).
How thankful we can be that God in His mercy will be better to anyone than his or her inconsistent desires. We need not fear to come near our Lord and Savior, even though there is a secret sin, or evil thoughts, and the demoniac passions cry out against our prayer. Do not doubt that the compassionate Lord will be just as ready to hear your cry for deliverance from sin as he was to hear the cry of this pitiful man who lived alone in the tombs. And if you will permit Him, He will deliver you from the bondage of self, sin, and Satan. He will command the inward discord of your mind to cease, and you shall at last sit peacefully at the feet of your Redeemer and in your right mind.
What good reason could this tormented man have when he saw Jesus afar off (and) he ran and worshiped Him (5:6) to suddenly cry out: Torment me not?
But just think! This is asking too much. It is the very nature of sin to be unreasonable. Why should Peter fall down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord (Luke 5:8)? We do not pretend to explain the strange emotional conflicts that each of us as sinners may experience. You may think that you as one individual are not important, but Christ considered this one hopeless demon-possessed person so precious that He was willing to go to the country of the Gadarenes in order to save him — even though He knew He would be rejected by everyone else and told to depart out of their coasts (Mark 5:17). What a revelation of the love of God for even you or me and for every lost sinner who sincerely desires to "worship Him."
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord (Rom. 7:24).
Thought for Today:
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil. 1:6).
4:24 mete =measure out, give to others; 5:19 suffered him not =did not permit him.
For Mark 4:12: See Is. 6:9-10; Jer. 5:21; Ezek. 12:2.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts sponsored by Miss Helayne Abrams • Staff: Karen Hawkins • Government Official: Rep. Steven Rothman (NJ) • Country: Greece (10.5 million) in southeastern Europe • Major languages: Greek and English • Government restrictions on witnessing to others about Christ • 87% Orthodox; 8% Old Calendar Orthodox; 2% Catholic; 1.2% Muslim; .5% Jehovah's Witness; .3% Protestant; 1% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Call upon the Lord and He will save you (Ps. 55:16).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:9