Read Mark 4

Highlights:

You think you had a busy day! Jesus is teaching a crowd about spiritual growth and the Kingdom of God (Mark 4:1-34). At even (4:35) He calms the sea (4:39). Jesus rebukes demons, heals an issue of blood, and raises the dead (4:35 — 5:43)!

When Jesus entered Gadara, He was met by a man with an unclean spirit, Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him. . . . But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped Him (Mark 5:2-3,6). While this wretched unnamed man worshipped Jesus, he suddenly cried out: Torment me not (5:7). He craved to be delivered from his spiritual bondage. Then Jesus said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit (5:8).

A strange paradox exists in the heart of a sin-filled soul that meets the Master. And we do not pretend to explain the awesome emotional experience of the Apostle Peter, when he realized his own sinfulness and Jesus' deity. He fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord (Luke 5:8).

The man possessed with demons demonstrates the limited power of Satan over the unsaved. The demon said that his name was Legion (a Roman legion consisted of 6,000 soldiers) (Mark 5:9), illustrating the overwhelming number of Satan's demons that can motivate and manipulate a lost sinner. But, how we praise the Lord that no one is too great a sinner to be saved and filled with the Holy Spirit! Oh, helpless sinner, how thankful you can be that God in His mercy is willing to transform you to enjoy life more than you could ask or think (Eph. 3:20). Regardless of how great a sinner you have been, do not fear to come near the Lord and Savior. He that . . . confesseth and forsaketh them (his sins) shall have mercy (be set free, be saved) (Prov. 28:13).

The powerful Saul of Tarsus, who had a legal permit to arrest Christians and have them put to death, also confessed: 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. 7:24-25). What a miraculous transformation followed his conversion! Later, as the Apostle Paul, little did he realize that his letters written in prison to the churches would make up most of our New Testament which has inspired millions.

Just think! The man with a Legion of demons was delivered and was commissioned by Jesus: Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish . . . how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel (Mark 5:19-20).

Thought for Today:

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost (Spirit) is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto Me . . . unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Cross Reference:

For Mark 4:12: See Is. 6:9-10; Jer. 5:21; Ezek. 12:2.

Word Studies:

4:24 mete measure out, give to others; 5:19 suffered him not did not permit him.

Prayer Needs:

Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Staff: Rita Guerra • Government Official: Rep. Steven Rothman (NJ) • Country: Brazil (168 million) in South America • Major languages: Portuguese and Spanish • Religious freedom • 67% Catholic; 21% Protestant; 4% spiritist; .7% Buddhist; .7% Muslim; .15% Indigenous; 2.4% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Ask for understanding of the Word of God as you read each day (Ps. 119:34).

Memory Verse for the Week:

Matthew 7:2