Taming The Tombstone Terrorist


Mark 5:1-20

Consider The Man (1-5)

The Man’s Defilement

The man was held fast in the grip of the devil.

He was possessed by thousands of demons.

He was in a state of hopelessness and helplessness.

The Man’s Depravity

The man lived among the dead.

He lived in the cemetery.

He lived with bones and the decaying corpses of the dead.

The Man’s Desperation

The man was naked.

He was running around like a wild man day and night.

He cut himself and his body was covered with blood and scars.

He screamed and yelled in his torment.

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Consider The Master (6-13)

The Master’s Compassion

The Lord Jesus Christ had compassion on the man.

He wanted to deliver him from the grip of Satan.

The Master’s Confrontation

The demons drove this man to the feet of the Lord Jesus Christ.

They fell down in acknowledgement of His deity.

The Lord Jesus Christ ordered them to release their captive.

The demons acknowledged His authority, and they begged the Lord Jesus Christ not to torment them by sending them to Hell.

They requested that they might be allowed to enter into a herd of swine that was feeding nearby.

The Lord Jesus Christ gave them permission.

When they did, the swine couldn’t tolerate the demons and killed themselves by running into the sea.

The Master’s Command

Everything the man had tried to retain his sanity failed.

But one word from the Lord Jesus Christ and He was free!

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Consider The Miracle (14-20)

He Was Changed By The Lord Jesus Christ

When the townsfolk came, they could see the evidence of a changed life.

No longer was he running around, crying out and cutting himself.

He was calm and seated beside the Lord Jesus Christ.

No longer was he naked.

He was clothed!

He was in his right mind!

He has been changed spiritually, physically and mentally!

He Was Committed To The Lord Jesus Christ

The man wanted to be with the Lord Jesus Christ.

He Was Commissioned By The Lord Jesus Christ

The Lord Jesus Christ wanted him to remain in his hometown to tell others what He had done for him.

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The Lord Jesus Christ tamed the tombstone terrorist.

He can tame us too!

Are we lost and in the grip of sin? He can set us free!

Are we out of God’s will and trapped in pride and bitterness? He can set us free!

Do we need His touch? Do we need His compassion? Do we need His life-changing power? Let us come to Him today.

The Lord Jesus Christ had weathered the storm on the sea to get to the man.

He had weathered the storm of Calvary to get to us.

Is He calling?

Let us come to Him now.

Principles Of Kingdom Growth


Mark 4:26-29

It Involves A Ministry (26-27a)

A Human Ministry

God has chosen to grow His kingdom through human ministers.

Each of us was saved because some believer somewhere sowed Gospel seed.

That seed fell into the good soil of our hearts.

Then it germinated and produced new life within our hearts.

Now, we are to carry the Gospel seed wherever we go and sow it as we go.

A Humbling Ministry

After the farmer has sown the seed, he has done all that he can.

He cannot bring life out of the ground.

So he places it into the ground and waits to see what will become of the seed.

That is humbling work!

The farmer is at the mercy of the seed, the soil and the elements.

So it is with the Gospel of grace!

We can only sow the seed and then we leave the results in the hands of sovereignty!

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It Involves A Mystery (27b-28a)

A Puzzling Mystery

No one can explain how a dead, dormant seed can produce life when it is buried in the soil.

So it is with the Gospel!

When it is sown into a prepared heart, that seed begins to germinate.

When it does, life will issue forth.

This is the process we call conviction.

A Private Mystery

The work at first is very private.

The farmer must patiently wait for the results of his labor to be seen.

He does not know which seed will grow.

So it is with those who sow Gospel seed.

We do not know which seed will grow and bear fruit.

But such things are not our worry!

God has called us to sow the seed!

The harvest is His responsibility!

A Precious Mystery

The farmer knows that the seed is growing and changing.

He knows that the plant and the fruit will come!

When we sow the Gospel, we know that God is working even when we cannot see the proof of that work!

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It Involves A Majesty (28b-29)

A Progressive Majesty

There is a progression in the growth of the plant.

It starts off small and fragile.

But in time it matures and produces fruit.

This is a picture of how a Christian is to grow in grace.

The new life is tender and easily damaged.

But it will grow strong in the Lord and will bear much fruit for His glory!

A Profitable Majesty

When the time for harvest is come, the farmer receives the return on his investment.

When a person is saved and lives his life to the fullest for God’s glory, it honors the Lord and accomplishes what He intended all along!

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As Christians, we must sow the Gospel seed as we pass through this world.

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As Christians, we must grow in the Lord in a way that pleases Him!

The Servant Under Attack


Mark 3:20-30

His Friends Attacked His Sanity (20-21)

They said He was insane.

Their Reason

The Lord Jesus Christ and His men returned to the town.

They entered a house, hoping to get some rest.

Their plan was shattered by a multitude of people who came to them for help.

They were so busy ministering to them that they didn’t have time for meal.

When His friends heard about it, their first thought was that He had gone crazy.

Their Remedy

They came to grab and take Him back to Nazareth.

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His Foes Attacked His Spirituality (22-30)

The scribes said He was demon possessed.

The Attack

They said He had Beelzebub, and by the ruler of the demons He cast out demons.

They attributed His miracles to the power of the devil.

Beelzebub was a loathsome, wicked demon associated with all things dirty and filthy.

It was a cruel and heartless attack.

The Answer

The Lord Jesus Christ called His attackers to Him and He totally destroyed their arguments.

His used 3 illustrations from life to prove that Satan couldn’t be in the business of casting out Satan.

(1) A Secular Illustration

A kingdom in division is a kingdom that cannot stand.

When there is civil war and strife within a kingdom, the stability of that kingdom is compromised and that kingdom is more likely to fall.

For a kingdom to be strong it must be united.

For Satan to cast out his own demons would be counterproductive.

(2) A Social Illustration

A house in division is a house that cannot stand.

A marriage that faces a constant barrage of fighting is a marriage that cannot stand.

A home is not a home unless it is filled with love, unity and peace.

(3) A Spiritual Illustration

We cannot rob a well defended home unless we first tie up the defender of that home.

The Lord Jesus Christ has the power to invade Satan’s kingdom.

He can deliver us from the devil’s grip.

He has power over the devil!

The Alarm

The scribes did not see the terrible spiritual danger they were in.

They had called God’s Messiah the servant of the devil.

The Lord Jesus Christ warned them of the danger of committing an unpardonable sin.

The Sin That Can Be Forgiven

All manner of sins and blasphemies can be forgiven!

The Sin That Can Never Be Forgiven

The Lord Jesus Christ worked as a Spirit filled man.

When the scribes attributed the work of the Spirit to the devil, they were guilty of blasphemy against the Spirit of God.

They were in danger of committing an unpardonable sin!

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Today, the unforgivable sin is to say “no” to the call of the Holy Spirit for the last time.

When He calls and we say no for the last time, He will abandon us to our choice and allow us to go to Hell!

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Are we under attack for our faith?

Are we being misunderstood and misrepresented?

If we are being attacked for our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are in good company.

We ought to come today and thank Him that we are being counted worthy to suffer with Him.

We should also pray that He will help us to be steadfast for His glory.

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If we are lost and He has been calling us to come to Him for salvation, we must say “Yes” to His call.

Come while He is calling.

Come while we can be saved.

The Scandal Over Sinners


Mark 2:13-17

The Lord Jesus Christ was walking by the Sea of Galilee when the people of Capernaum flocked around Him.

The common men were excited.

But the Jewish leaders were offended.

They were looking for His fault.

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Jesus And The Publican (14)

Levi The Man

The Lord Jesus Christ passed a man named Levi who was working at the booth collecting taxes.

Levi was a tax collector for Rome.

He was among the most despised people in Israel.

He was viewed as a traitor to his people and to his nation.

He was isolated in the community and not allowed to go to the Temple or the synagogues.

He could only socialize with other tax collectors and sinners.

Levi And The Master

As Jesus passed by, He issued a simple command to Levi, “Follow Me!”

It was a call for Levi to leave his old life behind and to begin a new life of following Jesus.

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Jesus And The Party (15)

The Lord Jesus Christ was invited to Levi’s house for dinner.

Some of those present were other tax collectors, prostitutes and others who did not observe the strict religious rules of the scribes and Pharisees.

The Purpose For The Party

Levi hosted this party as an opportunity to say farewell to his old life and as an opportunity to introduce his friends and associates to Jesus.

His life had changed and he wanted everyone else to know it.

He wanted his friends to meet the Lord Jesus Christ.

He wanted them to experience the same change of life that he himself had experienced.

The Picture In The Party

The Lord Jesus Christ came.

He goes where the sinners are.

He does not partake of their wicked ways.

But He spends time with them in an effort to win them.

He wants to win their confidence and to change their lives.

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Jesus And The Problem (16)

The Critics

The religious leaders used this party as an opportunity to attack the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Criticism

The scribes and Pharisees attacked the Lord Jesus Christ for spending time with sinners.

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Jesus And The Pronouncement (17)

When the Lord Jesus Christ heard their criticism, He did not allow it to go unchallenged.

Jesus And His Mission

He told His critics that He is like a doctor.

He is treating the sick and trying to help them get well.

Jesus And His Message

When the Lord Jesus Christ answered their criticism, He also leveled a criticism against them.

He told them that His mission, His ministry and His message are not for good people, but for those who are bad.

He told them that He did not come for those who are well, but for those who are sick.

The plan of salvation is only for all who can see and admit their need of a Savior.

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The Lord Jesus Christ wants His Gospel taken out of the church into the places where the lost live.

We are to reach out to sinners.

It is time we repent of our own hypocrisy and asked the Lord to give us a heart like His.

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Friend of sinners.

We are to follow His example and seek them.

The Passion Of The Amazing Servant


Mark 1:35-39

The 1st year of the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ was spent in relative obscurity.

He preached the Gospel in the southern parts of Israel and reached out to lost souls.

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The 1st year of Christ’s ministry has been called The Year Of Obscurity.

The 2nd year is called The Year Of Popularity.

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Mark passed over the 1st year of Jesus’ ministry.

He began at that time when Jesus was beginning to gain a following in Israel.

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We had seen the Lord call His first disciples.

We have watched Him at work preaching in the synagogue, casting out devils, and healing many that were sick.

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Now we look at the great passions that moved the heart of the Savior.

We take a brief glimpse into one early morning quiet time of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Jesus Possesses A Passion For Prayer (35)

Nothing could prevent the Lord Jesus Christ from an early morning meeting with His Father.

He rose up a long while before daylight and went to a secluded location to pray.

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The Lord Jesus Christ prayed because He lived His life in total dependence on the Father.

He prayed because He wanted a totally unhindered fellowship with the Father.

He wanted the Holy Spirit to be able to flow through His life in absolute freedom and power.

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The Lord Jesus Christ wanted His prayer time to be uninterrupted and unhindered.

He knew that His prayer time was precious and private.

He wanted nothing to come between Him and time spent in His Father’s presence.

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Jesus Possesses A Passion For Preaching (36-38)

As the Lord Jesus Christ was praying, He was interrupted by Peter, Andrew, James and John.

They came to tell Him that the people of Capernaum were looking for Him.

They wanted Him to go back to town and did some more miracles so that the people would cling to Him even more.

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The Lord Jesus Christ refused to allow them to dictate the direction of His ministry.

He had been in communion with His Father.

He knew what the Father wanted Him to do.

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The Lord Jesus Christ reminded the disciples that the message is more important than the miracles.

He told them that He was going to the towns where He had not yet preached so that He could share the Gospel with them too.

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Jesus Possesses A Passion For People (39)

The Lord Jesus Christ and His disciples left Capernaum to go into the other towns of Galilee to share the Gospel message with them.

He was consumed with a passion to see people saved from their sins and brought into a relationship with the Father.

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The Lord Jesus Christ came to this world to give His life a ransom for many.

He came to this world to die.

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The Lord Jesus Christ was consumed with a passion to do the will of His Father.

He was consumed with a passion to deliver people from the things that had them bound.

The Lord Jesus Christ was consumed with a passion to see the people saved!