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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 137 - Running Crowd

When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. “You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.” The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, “He’s dead.” But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.

Mark 9:25-27

There are many versions of Jesus in history and all around us today. Jesus even predicted them.

For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Matthew 24:24

They will say great things, perform great miracles. But Jesus puts his reputation and claims of being God on the line. He doesn’t shrink away from them. He doesn’t hold off telling and showing himself for who he claims to be. Gods anointed one. God from on high. God from all eternity.

When Jesus acts, he doesn’t mess around. He’s not waiting till he reaches some number of social media followers. Or have so much in donations. As a matter of fact, he acts quickly, before the crowd can get close.

Jesus’ words are powerful and to the point.

  • Identification – he clearly and specifically calls out to who he’s speaking to.

  • Command – Jesus gives a military-style command to the spirit. There was no negotiation. There were no mincing words. There was no room for misunderstanding.

  • Come out – there is nothing but clarity about what’s about to happen. This spirit is to leave the boy. Period. This will take care of the immediate problem.

  • Finalization – Jesus commands the spirit to never enter again. This takes care of the ongoing problem. The spirit leaves and Jesus locks the door behind him, changing the lock.

When the spirit leaves, it’s not like moving from one house to another, trading in one car for another. This was not a calm, intellectual exchange. This was a gut-wrenching event. Removal of the spirit caused the boy to jerk uncontrollably back and forth, over and over. He also cried out with a blood-curdling scream that would have made any horror movie shriek proud.

After all this convulsing and screaming, the boy falls limp to the ground. The boy goes from all this violent movement and screaming to a lifeless lump on the ground. The natural assumption was that the boy was dead. Like too much chemotherapy, the cure was so severe that it killed the patient.

Again, Jesus isn’t worried. He’s not upset. He’s in control of both his emotions, himself, and the situation.

He reaches down, takes the boys hand, and helps him get back up. This is no gentle helping, but a strong manly grip that gives Jesus enough leverage to pull the boy up so that he could stand on his own.

This is just like Jesus. He takes the problem head on. He doesn’t back away. He never retreats. He never needs to regroup or to change tactics. Jesus personally addresses the problem and the person involved. His directions and commands are very clear. There’s no misunderstanding. He’s in control, everyone and everything is under his command.

There are some people that don’t want this kind of Jesus. They want a popular Jesus that crowds run towards. One they can control like some passive-aggressive person who “pulls the strings” to manipulate. Someone to guilt their children, spouse, friends, neighbors, perfect strangers into doing exactly what they want.

This is the modern Jesus people want. Powerful enough to come when there’s a problem too big to handle. Fix the problem quickly, efficiently, cleanly, and exactly how we want it resolved. Then this Jesus retreats to the pages of the Bible to lie dormant until called on at the next catastrophe.

But this isn’t who Jesus is. He’s God, so he can do what he wants. How he wants. When he wants. His only constraint, if you want to call it that, is to be who he is, to be consistent with his Godhood.

It’s his right to reign, not ours. It’s his authority that moves history, not ours. It’s his power to change and heal, not ours.

Do you see the pattern?

There’s an old hymn that clearly puts this into words.

All to Jesus I surrender,

Humbly at His feet I bow,

Worldly pleasures all forsaken;

Take me, Jesus, take me now[1].

His role is king and savior. Our role is servant and worshiper. It’s that simple.

[1] All to Jesus I Surrender, Judson W. Van De Venter (1896)

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