August 11, 2022 - Mark 5-8

The man who lived among the tombs was possessed. No one could bind him, even with chains. He broke them. But Jesus could and, not only that, he cast out the demons and restored him. Jarius’ daughter was sick, almost to death. The doctors could not heal her. But Jesus could and did. A woman had a hemorrhage of some sort. She had had it for twelve years and had spent all her money on doctors who could not heal her. But Jesus could and did.

The people were so accustomed to worthless and empty teaching that, when Jesus taught in the synagogue, they were astonished at his wisdom. Their teachers did not teach in that manner. Jesus did. John the Baptist was a righteous man. Herod was not. The disciples could not feed the crowds. But Jesus could and did.

It’s not what goes into a person (remember the Pharisees' teaching about food and eating utensils) that defiles him. But that which comes out of that person is that which defiles. And so many other contrasts! The Bible points this out: there is the way of the world and there is the way of God. There is the worldly man and there is the godly man.

And then, there is this great contrast: “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it” (8:34,35). Contrasts!

Take up your cross, the Savior said,

If you would my disciple be;

Deny yourself, the world forsake,

And humbly follow after me.

Take up your cross, and follow Christ,

Nor think till death to lay it down;

For only they who bear the cross

May hope to wear the glorious crown. -- Charles W. Everest (1833)

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