Topic: From Mess to Message
Today’s Scripture: Mark 5:1–20
Key Verse: Tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you. – Mark 5:19
INSIGHT: Jesus has power over all creation, as is clear from today’s passage (Mark 5:1–20). This includes the spiritual world as well. The owners of the pigs would have suffered a large loss when their herd was destroyed in an instant. But we might wonder how the Jewish observers reacted. Bible teacher D. A. Carson makes the point that Jesus’ Jewish audience would have seen the loss of the pigs as of little consequence. Pigs were considered unclean animals (Leviticus 11:7). In 167 bc, Syrian tyrant Antiochus IV (Antiochus Epiphanes) had even sacrificed a pig on the altar in the temple—a despicable act of sacrilege in Jewish eyes.
Our Daily Bread 16 September 2021 Devotional Message:
Darryl was a baseball legend who nearly destroyed his life with drugs. But Jesus set him free, and he’s been clean for years. Today he helps others struggling with addiction and points them to faith. Looking back, he affirms that God turned his mess into a message.
Nothing is too hard for God. When Jesus came ashore near a cemetery after a stormy night on the Sea of Galilee with His disciples, a man possessed by darkness immediately approached Him. Jesus spoke to the demons inside him, drove them away, and set him free.
When Jesus left, the man begged to go along. But Jesus didn’t allow it, because He had work for him to do: “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you” (Mark 5:19).
We never see the man again, but Scripture shows us something intriguing. The people of that region had fearfully pleaded with Jesus “to leave” (v. 17), but the next time He returned there, a large crowd gathered (8:1). Could the crowd have resulted from Jesus sending the man home? Could it be that he, once dominated by darkness, became one of the first missionaries, effectively communicating Jesus’ power to save?
We’ll never know this side of heaven, but this much is clear. When God sets us free to serve Him, He can turn even a messy past into a message of hope and love.
Reflect & Pray
What has Jesus set you free from? How can you share with others what He’s done for you?
Beautiful Savior, I praise You for Your amazing power! No darkness can stand against You! Help me to walk in Your light today.
Our Daily Bread 16 September 2021 Devotional Message. Our Daily Bread Ministries (ODB) is a Christian organization founded by Dr. Martin De Haan in 1938. It is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with over 600 employees. It produces several devotional publications, including Our Daily Bread.