Message: One of my favorite NT stories is the man delivered from the “legion” of demons and although I understand that the town lost 2000 pigs that day which probably destroyed their lively hood, I am always surprised at how disturbed they were. Was the dysfunction so normal for them to see this man whom they could no longer restrain, living in the cemetery naked, crying out and cutting himself? Now seeing him fully dressed, sitting there in his right mind they are afraid? I get that it disrupted their town and cost them 2000 pigs but his restoration scared them so badly that they begged Jesus to leave! What kind of dysfunction have I learned to live with so long that I would resist the change? Is it the cost it would take for the change that I’m afraid of? Maybe the disruption? On a side note, I couldn’t help but be sad for this guy when he wanted to go with Jesus after he was restored, and Jesus told him to stay there and tell everyone about it. These were the people that were so afraid of his transformation that they begged Jesus to leave and now Jesus wanted to stay with them and tell them about it. The cool part about it is that he did stay and tell them all about it and verse 20 says that they were amazed. I think people resist change they don’t understand but when they see someone they have always known to be in disarray, suddenly, or even gradually transform, they are impacted by it.
What also stood out to me more than anything else in Mark 5 is that the “woman of the issue of blood” we have heard about in so many sermons received her healing after touching Jesus. When Jesus asked “who touched me?” the disciples made a very obvious and valid point…’literally this entire crowd is touching you Jesus- and pressing up against you for that matter!” What was different about the woman? She touched him from a place of absolute desperation and she believed that she didn’t have to even have his attention. She could just reach out touch him quietly and be restored. She didn’t need a production, she wasn’t there to be seen. She just desperately wanted to be healed. I thought about this in the context of worship. We all gather and we all press in and worship, and we all want to see Jesus and be healed and changed, but there is something powerful about pressing into Jesus desperately and quietly with no audience. Our desperate determination unleashes a level of faith in us that touches God.
Command: Worship with a desperate and completely honest heart and don’t let the fear of the cost of transformation hold me back from grasping that change.
Promise: God sees my heart and he knows when I am just going through the motions with the crowd, but he also sees me in my honest desperation when nobody is around.
Warning: I can resist my own transformation and healing if I am hung up on the cost of it or the disruption of my life, or even my own idea of how it should happen.
Application: Lord, Jesus, if I am honest, I know I am not pressing in to you with the same kind of desperation that I have before. I see myself pressing into you like one of the crowd, but Lord, I want to have the kind of intimacy with you that transforms my heart and disrupts the norm. A transformation that will be noticed by those who know me best.