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June 20, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit. ‘You deaf and mute spirit,’ he said, ‘I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.’ The spirit shrieked, convulsed him violently and came out. The boy looked so much like a corpse that many said, ‘He’s dead.’ But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him to his feet, and he stood up.”—Mark 9:25–27 (NIV)
Over the last two days, we’ve broken down the conversation between Jesus and a desperate father whose son had been oppressed and, for all intents and purposes, tortured for basically his whole life through demon possession. Today, we see how this entire story shakes out.
Now, the first thing we note here is honestly something that greatly irritates me. You see, there was a large crowd on the scene. Maybe a few people there were family or friends, but the majority of the multitude were just there for the show. And what a show they’d gotten. They saw the disciples fail to heal the boy and then got to witness the arguments between the disciples and the religious leaders. And it seems the multitude was distracted and entertained by the dispute between the religious leaders and the disciples because they didn’t noticed Jesus having a side conversation with the boy’s dad. And now, when they noticed He had taken the father apart, they came running over for the main event. This is in such poor taste. It’s similar to how the media today will exploit a tragic story and run it every hour on the hour, turning grief, loss, and pain into headlines and dollar signs.
But none of this—no arguments, commotion, or miracle-chasing mob—was going to stop Jesus from being Jesus and bringing healing, redemption, and grace to those who seek Him. So, He “rebuked” the impure spirit. That word for rebuke is more akin to a warning. Jesus commanded the demonic presence to leave the boy and warned it to never enter him again, and the demon obeyed! None but Jesus can exert such authority over all creation, even over demonic forces. And He has that same authority over our lives!
So, after one last, violent demonic shriek and convulsion (apparently worse than the others), the demon left the boy, who fell completely still, leading the crowd to surmise he was dead. But then, Jesus took Him by the hand, and the seemingly dead child arose (ēgeiren, the language of resurrection, the same word used when Jesus rose from the dead) and was full of life—new life, free from the oppression that had plagued him.
If you’re a believer, just like that child, Jesus has taken you by the hand and raised you up out of death and into new life! If you’re not, today can be the day! Salvation, redemption, hope, strength, endurance, wisdom, compassion, mercy, faith, joy, purpose, healing, restoration, reconciliation, freedom, new life . . . He can and wants to bring it all about in your life. Like the father, we must simply ask and believe.
If you’d like to experience the salvation, healing, and new life Jesus gives us, please e-mail me at DanielS@CalvaryFTL.org.
Pause: What does new life in Christ mean?
Practice: This week, pray for someone you know who has not yet received new life in Jesus. Pray the Lord would use you to help draw that person to Himself!
Pray: Father, I thank You for my new life in Christ. I thank You for healing me and rescuing me from my sin, from the oppression and bondage to sin. I ask that You continue to work redemption, healing, and sanctification into my life, and that You would use me to bring that same redemption into the lives of others. Amen.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.