Wednesday, January 31, 2024

In the presence of Power - Understanding Submission


This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on January 28th 2024  by Karan Thomas. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

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.


Mark 5:1-20

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 (v2-5).

When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 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. 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 there.

2. 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 their lives.

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.

3. The demon-possessed man v18-20

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 gladly.

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 is obedience.

Jesus did not do what the demoniac asked and yet he obeyed,

Jesus is a King who is involved in our lives.


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 material evidence.

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

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto   

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