IN THE PRESENCE OF POWER - Understanding Submission
If you were the President what three things would you do in your
first year of rule?
We are all torn between two desires. We want a leader who will
protect and serve us etc., and on the other hand, we want independence where we
don’t want anyone to tell us what to do!
We sing a lot of songs about Christ being King because it’s a
fulfilment of Messianic prophecies.
Is 9 He shall be callee…Micah 5 The regal nature of the king.
Jeremiah 23 King who will reign.
Zechariah Riding on a donkey
In the Old Testament, people struggled to come to terms with God as
King starting from the garden of Eden. Gen 3 Adam and Eve rebelled. Then people
did not God as King, but they wanted a man as King. Then they substituted this
King for other Kings and idolatry.
In the New Testament, people struggle with Jesus coming as King. The
authorities did not like it: the Pharisees and Sadducees did not like it.
WHAT KIND OF A KING WAS JESUS?
Jesus’ kingdom is not about compliance with rules etc. He came as a
healer and liberator. Until then there is no record of a king coming as a
healer, or liberator casting our demons and evil spirits!
Jesus permitted the demons to go somewhere.
We see His authority or higher power to which He appeals.
The demons begged Jesus.
The townspeople begged Jesus.
The demoniac begged Jesus.
Cultural Beliefs about Demons
In those days people did
believe in people being possessed by demons and having an influence on them
2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. - Mark 5:2-5
The demon-possessed man lived in isolation amongst the Tombs. Tombs
are considered unclean places even today. People avoided him because of fear of
his spiritual uncleanness. He was often chained, and he would break those
chains. He would self-harm – he would cut himself with stones. People in those
days would cut themselves to appease the spirits.
So historically and culturally it was a deep issue that could not be resolved.
1. Demons and Jesus v7-13
What do you want with me, Jesus, son
of God? These demons have good theology. They recognized Jesus for who He was
but still chose not to submit to Him. We need to have a faith that moves beyond
just knowing about Jesus! Even the demons know and shudder!! These demons
preferred to be with the pigs than with Jesus and begged Him to send them
Townsmen v 14-17
They realize Jesus’ power and beg Him
to leave! They don’t challenge His power. They acknowledge it but they do not
want him in their lives! They realize that they would have to lose control over
To love with Jesus and the presence
of His power is to accept that it means to give up or lose control.
Faith in Jesus is to give up control.
The demon-possessed man
The demon-possessed man is cured, and
he is begging Jesus to allow him to follow Him. But Jesus does not allow him
and tells him to go to his town instead and tell them what God has done for
him. And the man obeys!!
This was his calling, and he did it
This is a glimpse of what it means to
be in the presence of power. In the face of unanswer3ed prayer, he obeys!!
The shape of this person’s response
Jesus did not do what the demoniac
asked and yet he obeyed,
Jesus is a King who is involved in
The “formal principle” of faith is
thinking and committing to the evidence, but the “material principle” of faith
is resting in the love and work of Christ. Tim Keller
Submission requires faith and
Do we believe that though the storms
rage He is a King who cares for us?
How can we imitate the cured demoniac’s response to Jesus? By accepting His agenda even if it differs from our expectations