Jump Starts Daily

Jump Start #3466

Jump Start # 3466

Mark 5:2-3 ‘When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him, and he had his dwelling among the tombs. And no one was able to bind him anymore, even with a chain.”

  Our verse introduces the demon possessed man to us. He was scary. He was a mess. Most would turn away from him. Screaming day and night, naked, bloodied from cutting himself, and dwelling among the tombs, this man was more of a creature than a human. He had been chained in an effort to control him and limit him, but he broke the chains. He was like a wild animal, a mad dog.

  Jesus confronts the demons and drives them out of the man and into a herd of pigs and they rush into the sea and drown. The man became one of the first people Jesus allowed to tell who He was. There is a remarkable parallel to what sin does to us and the state of this demon possessed person.

  Sin first comes to us as temptation. It looks fun, reasonable and something we want. So, we open the door and allow temptation to come into our hearts. Quickly, the temptation becomes sin. All the promises of sin become lies. And, what we find is that we are in a real mess. We need the Lord to help us.

  Notice the parallel between sin and this demon possessed man.

  First, sin makes us live where we shouldn’t live. For the demon possessed man it was among the tombs. Many graves, including our Lord’s, was more of a cave than buried in the ground as we do in our culture. Staying in a cave where there are bodies nearby is creepy, unhealthy and not the way God made us to be.

  With sin, we live where we should not live. We live among the dead. We live with guilt and shame. We rely on excuses and lies to hide our behavior. There are consequences that follow us, often for a long, long time. Dead in sin is not how God wants us to be. Our choices have filled our hearts with evil thoughts and wicked ways. Sin makes us live where we shouldn’t live.

  Second, sin makes us do things that we shouldn’t do. For the demon possessed man, he had been cutting himself with rocks. That self abuse isn’t healthy. And, sin leads us to mistreating others. We sneak, scheme, hide and lie, often to those we love the most. We shouldn’t do those things but we do. We want to keep an image before others. And, rather than being honest, we live a life of deception.

  So many sins easily become addictions and they take over our lives. These addictions can lead us to hurting others. We lie. We steal. We cheat. Sin makes us do things that we shouldn’t do.

  Third, sin makes others no longer trust us. For the possessed man, he was chained. We don’t chain people unless they are headed to prison. We chain the criminal to keep the rest of us safe. There is a lack of trust and the chains keep us safe. Sin destroys the trust others have in us. Our words no longer count because of the numerous lies we have told. People are fired from their jobs because they have shown that they cannot be trusted. Friendships have ended because of the promises that have been broken.

  Sin has never strengthened a church. Sin has not made a marriage better. Sin has not brought the best out of any of us. Sin destroys everything it touches. Helpless, hopeless, and without God is what sin does to us. Just the very state that this possessed man was in. That is, until Jesus intersected with his life. The demons removed, this man showed a changed life. Clothed. Seated. Calm. He was a different person.

  And, the Lord will do that very thing to us. We change because of Jesus. We become dependable. We develop a character that embraces trust, love and grace. We walk with the Lord in righteousness. Clothed. In his right mind. Decent. That was the man without demons. And, that’s our picture when sin is driven out of our lives.

  Our greatest problems that this culture faces is not the environment, the economy, the wars, but sin. Lives without Christ are lives without purpose, direction and quality. They are lives without joy, peace and grace. The hatred filling our culture is not about race, but about lives without Christ. The violence seen in the streets is not about a lack of police, but a lack of Christ in the hearts of our world.

  Possessed by demons…possessed by sin—there are a lot of similarities. And, only Christ could cast those demons out and only Christ can forgive us of our sins.

  Don’t fail to see yourself in these wonderful Gospel stories.