February 13, 2017
Servant King – Week 6 – Fear, Faith, Falling Down
Servant King – Week 6 – Fear, Faith,Falling Down
Jesus has just been teaching and training his disciples about the kingdom and sharing the good news. Now he begins training them to live by the power of the Holy Spirit. In that process HE deals with the topics of fear, faith and our response to God.
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Remember Jesus has just finished a long day of preaching and teaching how the Kingdom works. He has reminded His disciples that the Word of God is able to do it work on it’s own. That God is the one who controls the message. But remember Mark 3:14 He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons. In this first scene we see Jesus show His power and authority He is giving to the twelve over the power of nature itself.
The term furious squall is an interesting description of this storm. These guys are fisherman, surely they had been in storms before. but this one was different. No doubt this storm was more violent and scary than expected. I fact as we see the way Jesus responds to the storm, there might be a clue in the words he uses when He addresses the storm. He rebukes the storm and uses the same words that he used in Mark 1:25 when He muzzles the first demon He encounters. Could it be that this was a demonic attack? Could it be that the enemy saw this as an opportunity to stop this movement that was beginning?
As well it is interesting to look at the disciples and their response to the Storm and Jesus’ rebuke. We can see that the disciples are afraid of this storm. Why do they go to Jesus? Do they think he can do anything about it? I am not so sure. The way I see this is they are freaking out and Jesus is asleep. They are not really sure what to do but it doesn’t seem fair that they are worried but Jesus is asleep, So they wake Him and say don’t you care if we drown?
Then Jesus address the storm and it is stilled and He immediately turns to the disciples and asks them why are you afraid? This word fear (Delious) refers to an excessive fear (dread) of “losing,” causing someone to be fainthearted (cowardly) – hence, to fall short in following Christ as Lord. It is always a negative And then He tells them the root of all fear is a lack of faith. This theme is repeated several times more but It is something we must face. Fear and faith are incompatible. You cannot say you have faith and be fearful. What a lesson for these disciples to learn has they begin to go and preach and cast out demons. They must have faith that they can do these things.
Look at their response… They were terrified! This word is Phobia. It is sometimes used to positively but most times negatively. It indicates withdrawal, fleeing because feeling inadequate (without sufficient resources). And they marvel that He can control the storm.
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.
Jesus has crossed over the Sea of Galilee and has landed in the area of Gerasenes. This was know a the Decapolis. There where 10 cities in this region. Mostly populated by Gentiles. (map)
2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
This “man” was uncontrollable. The enemy was able to give him super human strength. The description used here is graphic. He cuts himself and cry out. 1 Kings 18 describes a similar scene of the prophets of Baal cutting them selves and crying out to Baal. This is clearly Satanic in origin.
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
Notice the posture this man takes. We cannot tell if this is the man or the demon controlling Him but what we clearly see is that it does not matter. Isa 45:23; Phil 2:10 Say that Every knew will bow. Each song we sang this morning declared that we will take this posture in worship to who He is.
And notice this demon is afraid. He is fearful of what Jesus will do.
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
This is interesting. Why would Jesus engage in this way? In the time of Jesus one of the beliefs was if you knew the name of something you had spiritual power over it. This is why we see the demons address Jesus by name trying to gave some power over Him. But Jesus commandingly gets this demon to reveal His name.
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
Legion is a roman military term 2000 – 6000 fighting men.
Hippos – dedicated to demons
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
Jesus commands the authority that He is training the disciples to carry into their ministry. Interestingly the demons send the pigs down into the lake to drown. Just as they were hoping to do to Jesus and Hus disciples in the boat.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
When They came face to face with the power of Jesus and what He could do, their response was fear (phobia) and they begged Jesus to leave the area. How often do we respond this way? When God begins to work in a miraculous way, instead of embracing what God is doing, we get afraid of how it might effect our life and how it will disrupt everything.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Notice instead of shutting this man down (like he has done before in Capperneum) Jesus instead instructs this man to share what God has done. Why the shift? Who is the audience?”
These next 2 stories are some of my favorite in Mark. I could probably spend a week on each of them but I want you to see the larger context of these 2 stories.
21 When Jesus had again crossed over by boat to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around him while he was by the lake. 22 Then one of the synagogue leaders, named Jairus, came, and when he saw Jesus, he fell at his feet. 23 He pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” 24 So Jesus went with him.
This time we see Jairus a leader in the Synagogue that Jesus has just been in, where they wanted to kill Him, comes to Jesus and falls at His feet to worship, not in fear but instead in worship fo who He is. This is a great contrast to those who are demon possessed who fall at His feet in fear of His power. Jesus having compassion is moved back into action. And He goes with this man to heal his daughter.
A large crowd followed and pressed around him. 25 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. 26 She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak, 28 because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” 29 Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.
30 At once Jesus realized that power had gone out from him. He turned around in the crowd and asked, “Who touched my clothes?”
31 “You see the people crowding against you,” his disciples answered, “and yet you can ask, ‘Who touched me?’ ”
32 But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. 33 Then the woman, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell at his feet and, trembling with fear, told him the whole truth. 34 He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Wen we look at this story there are several interesting things for us to notice. The first is how many years she suffered with this. This disease would have been very serious. She would have been cut off from all society. She would have no friends, It would have been like she had leprosy except she would not have had any of the outward signs of it. Picture the scene. The crowds are pressing in. Jostling to get close to Jesus. It would have been like black Friday sale. People trying to get close to Jesus. Now this woman is so frustrated, so desperate, and so faith-filled that Jesus is the the Son of God that she recalls a prophecy from Malachi 4:2 “But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture.
The word wings in Hebrew is kanaph. It is the word used of a prayer shawls corner or skirt.
She breaks every rule pushes her way through the crowd(making every around her unclean) and touches the kanaph of garment. And she is healed. Jesus knowing that this has happened, (oh to be so in tune with the spirit that you know when the Holy Spirit’s power moves through you), asks the disciples who just touched me?
Why does He do this? Jesus could have just let it go. I think 2 reasons. 1 to teach the disciples. 2 to bless this woman.
She is caught. She comes and falls at Jesus’ feet trembling in phobia. Why? She had broken every law she was unworthy of the gift she had received and in some sense I think, she is afraid he will Judge her or even curse her and take back the healing. How many of us have felt this way about God. Maybe, God does not want to save me. I don’t deserve His blessing. God could never work in me like that. But Jesus instead of reacting like the religious leaders of His time would have acted. Jesus contrasts her fear, and points to her faith. And he speaks peace into heart and healing over her suffering. I love that!!!
35 While Jesus was still speaking, some people came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” they said. “Why bother the teacher anymore?”
36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
In the midst of this commotion Jairus gets the news that His daughter is dead. And Jesus knowing what is in Jairus’ heart says “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” Do you see the contrast? Jesus reminds him, Fear and faith are incompatible. So Jesus goes back to work.
37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James and John the brother of James. 38 When they came to the home of the synagogue leader, Jesus saw a commotion, with people crying and wailing loudly.39 He went in and said to them, “Why all this commotion and wailing? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 But they laughed at him.
After he put them all out, he took the child’s father and mother and the disciples who were with him, and went in where the child was. 41 He took her by the hand and said to her, “Talitha koum!” (which means “Little girl, I say to you, get up!”). 42 Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). At this they were completely astonished. 43 He gave strict orders not to let anyone know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.
Significance of 12 years – 12 is number of God’s perfect Government (kingdom), This is a God thing. with God there is no coincidence.
What is your struggle here today? What has you captured in fear? What do you need to Him to heal? Do you believe He can? will you step into that faith and believe?
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