As I read through the gospels again I am struck this time by the many ways the religious leaders tried to trap Jesus. When we have lost spiritual power and authority all we have left is manipulation. We are left trying to trap people in “doctrinal error” rather than walking in true authority ourselves.
Mark 12:24 (CEB)
Jesus said to them, “Isn’t this the reason you are wrong, because you don’t know either the scriptures or God’s power?
O God, you make us glad with the weekly remembrance of the glorious resurrection of your Son our Lord: Give us this day such blessing through our worship of you, that the week to come may be spent in your favor; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
I was reading through the Gospel of Mark and in Chapter 9 there is the story of the man who brought his son to the disciples and they couldn’t cast it out.
By Mark 9:19 I wrote this question to myself in the margin of my Bible:
“When will I get tired of my spiritual impotence?”
Mustard seeds. Five loaves and two fish. Twelve followers. 120 in the upper room.
God isn’t intimidated or discouraged by what WE think is small.
He asks for:
— Give what you have to him. All of it.
— When he says YOU are part of the miracle, understand he just may know what he is doing.
— When he says, “Give it to me,” or, “Hand this out,” go with it.
The results are his. So is the glory. You just get to watch.
Mark 5:1-20 tells the story of the demoniac in the Gerasene region. What strikes me each time I read this story is the toleration the villagers had for the bondage this man was under and when he was actually made whole, they wanted Jesus out of the region.
They had “the devil they knew” and could “manage” the bondage at that point. At least, that was the lie they were working with day after day. Then, when real deliverance showed up, they had a power they didn’t know.
Too often we tolerate the bondage of the enemy because it’s somehow “known” to us. It’s “manageable.”
But when Jesus walks into the room… we can’t manage him. He sets people free, but HE is in control. We prefer the illusion of our own “management” skills.
This is a story that haunts me. Do I tolerate the activity of the enemy in my life or around me too much?
Solid advice from Richard Foster and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.