Devotion for Sunday, March 16th

Brooke Eikenberry Lent 2014

Mark 1:21-28, 32-34
They went to Capernaum; and when the Sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught.  They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.  Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.”  But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!”  And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him.  They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”  At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.  That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons.  And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

Mark’s gospel takes a running start with Jesus being baptized by John, recruiting disciples near the Sea of Galilee, attending services and even teaching at the synagogue in Caper’na-um…all within a matter of a few verses. Who is this guy? Where did he come from? …And just how is it that everyone…even the demons…know who Jesus is? Jesus bursts onto the scene and begins performing miracles – casting out demons and healing the sick. I like this image of Jesus… “casting the net” for disciples with one hand and casting out demons with the other – all in a day’s work for this envoy from God. Mark doesn’t tell us what happens to the person who is at last freed from their burden of possession by demons. We are left to speculate. Were they grateful? Did they become immediate followers? How were their lives changed by this experience? We are offered the same opportunity to know Jesus and be cleansed of our demons by the power of the Holy Spirit. Do we recognize Jesus in our midst and call to him? Do we allow the power of Jesus to change our lives? If our lives are changed by a relationship with Jesus, how do we respond?

Prayer:

Lord help me to recognize Jesus and be open to the cleansing of personal demons from my life. Help me to live a life knowing of the power of the Holy Spirit to change my life and for gratitude and the ability to live a more abundant life when it happens.

– Submitted by Dave Whitmer

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