In this sermon, part of Pastor Neil’s series on “Travels with Jesus,” we learn about an encounter with Jesus that changed a man’s life forever. Here are some excerpts:
When you meet Jesus and experience His grace in your life, when you know who He is, what He has done for you, and how much you matter to Him, you cannot remain unchanged. Jesus makes things happen.
Which He did in the life of the nameless man we meet in Mark 5. Last Sunday, in our chronicles of the travels of Jesus, we saw the power of Jesus over nature on display as He calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee, as He and His disciples were traveling across the lake. In Mark 5, they arrive on the eastern shore of the lake, in a predominantly Gentile area with ten towns known as the Decapolis (which means, ‘Ten Cities.’). As soon as Jesus got out of the boat, He was met by ‘a madman from the cemetery’ (MSG). This guy was a total mess; he was so overpowered by demonic spirits, so controlled by evil forces that he would have seemed to us to be more monster than man. From a human point of view, he was a lost cause. A hopeless case. There was no possibility of rehabilitation. He was out of control, a danger to others and a danger to himself.
Satan had him right where he wanted him. He had made him into a hopeless, helpless, hapless, self-destructive, wild man. One writer (David Garland) describes him as a ‘miniature Pandemonium’ (Garland, The NIV Application Commentary: Mark, 203)…
If Jesus could change the life of this out-of-control madman – and He did – is anyone too far gone for the love of Jesus to reach them? Jesus has the power to change our lives, too. He has the power to change your life, the power to heal the broken places in your life. He has the power to put the pieces of a broken marriage back together. Jesus has the power to heal the wounds that bring pain and heartache to families. He can heal the wounds in your life that just won’t seem to heal. Jesus can bring a prodigal home. Jesus can change the things in our lives that we have tried and failed to change on our own. He can give us the grace and serenity to accept the things we can’t change and the power to change the things we can. If we let Him. If we surrender to His wise and gracious and loving rule in our lives…
Maybe, as you examine your life this morning, you recognize that you need to change – or be changed – in some way from the inside out. Nothing you have tried has worked. You don’t have the power to change yourself. Maybe the change you need is not as outwardly dramatic as the demonized man living in the graveyard. However, if you ask Him, He will help you. If you trust in Him and put your life in His hands, He will transform your life. He will forgive you and change you. He will make you a new person on the inside. And it will show on the outside. He will do it now, if you ask Him.
Pastor Neil has a lot more to say about this topic. Please click on the link below to hear the message in its entirety.