February 20th 2018 Mark 4:26-5:20

26 And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, 27 and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how. 28 For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. 29 But when the grain ripens, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”

Remember that the parable of the sower is the key to understanding all parables. Therefore the seed spoken of her is also the Word of God. the point of this parable is that the farmer goes out and he spreads the seed. He has faith in the process of the seed growing. Though it grows under the ground and we do not really know how it is happening. We plant and we water and one morning we come out and it has sprouted. Then one day we look out and it is noticeably time for the harvest. The same is true with the Word of God. we go out and spread the word. The word takes root in a person’s heart. It is a process that is unseen, but we trust that it happens. We know that God has said His Word does not come back to him void. One day we look at suddenly there it is sprouting. The process continues and the next thing you know it is time for the harvest. We do not understand the process and it takes place hidden within the heart. But when God has completed the process the harvest is seen by all. We do our part. We spread the good news. God does the work of growing that seed that only He can do. We watch for the evidence that God has done what only He can do in His perfect timing.

30 Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it? 31 It is like a mustard seed which, when it is sown on the ground, is smaller than all the seeds on earth; 32 but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out large branches, so that the birds of the air may nest under its shade.”

This seed starts out as the smallest seed, but becomes the biggest tree. After first glance that sounds like a great thing the kingdom of God is growing so much and it becomes this big huge thing. But remember from the parable of the sower that the birds of the are actually devils. So what this parable is saying is that the church grows so big that the devil can actually infiltrate the church and begin to work in it. This is not good. Later Jesus will worn us to be careful of wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need to make sure that those we are trusting are of Jesus. The way we do this is by knowing the Word for ourselves and not relying solely on someone else’s teachings.

33 And with many such parables He spoke the word to them as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples.

Again if we are seeking, if we want to know Jesus will show up and explain things to us. “But the natural man does not receive things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; not can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” 1 Corinthians 2:14 To those who do not know Christ it makes no sense, or at the very best sounds like a good story, but they miss the point. It takes our spiritual eyes being opened to understand the spiritual things.

35 On the same day, when evening had come, He said to them, “Let us cross over to the other side.” 36 Now when they had left the multitude, they took Him along in the boat as He was. And other little boats were also with Him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. 38 But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” 39 Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

Storms in life will rise. That is one thing we can be sure of. Even while we are on the right track following God, going right where He would have us to be. The storms do not surprise our Lord. He knows they will arise and He is there to be our peace through it. We tend to freak out in them. They tend to take us by surprise and rock our worlds. But God has everything under control. When we go to Him, even with our crazy freaking out thoughts He is there for us. He can speak a word over the storm and calm it instantly. The truth of the matter is that satan does not like when we are going with God and he will throw things our way to try and derail us. This should not concern us though because our God is bigger than anything satan can throw our way. Even in the midst of a storm our eyes need to be fixed on who Jesus is and not the circumstances around us.

40 But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”41 And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

If even the wind and waves obey Him we should as well. Our God is big and great and wonderful. We serve a mighty God!

1 Then they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes.

Jesus was the one that wanted to come to the other side. He had purpose in it. We will often find that on our way to the purpose Jesus has for us is when the most opposition will come our way. Jesus had purpose in coming to the other side. He intended to meet this person and change his life and the life of those with him forever.

2 And when He had come out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, 4 because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.

5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying out and cutting himself with stones.

This poor man was in such anguish. The people who loved him tried to help. They didn’t know what to do for him. Their best attempt was in shackleing him, but he proved to be stronger than the shackles that were placed on him. He would cut himself with rocks. This guy was in terrible situation. Nothing he tried or others tried for him helped. He would just end up in worse and worse situation. Those who come from and addiction background can understand this man’s situation more than any of us. His need was dire. Jesus saw. Jesus took a special trip across the sea just for him.

6 When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice and said, “What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.” 8 For He said to him, “Come out of the man, unclean spirit!”

These demons knew who Jesus is. They knew what there end would be and that terrified them. They begged for anything else to happen to them.

9 Then He asked him, “What is your name?” And he answered, saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many.”

A legion is anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000. Can you even begin to imagine what this man had been through? I know what just Satan trying to mess with my life can be like. I cannot imagine the anguish of that many demons infiltrating my life.

10 Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country.

These demons did not want to lose their influence. They wanted to be able to stick around.

11 Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains.

Interesting to note that this is a Jewish community and as such they have no business having herds of pigs. See pigs are unclean animals and therefore the should not have been kept as herds. The reason that this did happen was because they knew they could make money off of them. So they compromised on what they knew was right and wrong. That is not a good place to be in. Is there any area in life you are compromising in because you could make a few extra bucks?

12 So all the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.” 13 And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.

The pigs could not handle the torment of it and it drove them to mass suicide.

14 So those who fed the swine fled, and they told it in the city and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that had happened.

They had pig Shepherds, so to speak, that kept watch over the herd. When they all died they went back to tell the pig owners that their source of income had just ended. The owners of the pigs were not happy, their paycheck was gone, entirely gone. They come out to see if it was true and to see how it had happened.

15 Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid.

This should have been a moment of rejoicing for the people. One of their own was u see demon possession and in a terrible state. Jesus came and made things right in his life. He was clothed and in his right mind. It had likely been a while since anyone had seen him like this. Everyone should have been rejoicing. But they were afraid.

16 And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. 17 Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.

They saw the threat to their income and not the one who could heal and save. When we see Jesus what do we see? Do we see Savior, redeemer, and friend or do we see one who comes to take our fun away?

18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

This man was healed by Jesus. He wanted to continue with Him. But Jesus knew he had a mission to complete where he was. He remained in that region and began to be the one who preached Christ to them. Because he was obedient and stayed many in that region came to know who Christ was.

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