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Summary: This sermon talks about the responsibility of the parents in nurturing their children in God's way.

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Demoniac of Gadara

Mark 5:1-9

I went to a parish in connection with the CSSM mission. I was invited to the residence of a member of that parish. As I reached there, I asked about the family members. The father of the family told me that he has 4 sons. The eldest one is a doctor. He lives in England with his family. The second son is also a doctor and he lives in Australia with his a family. The third one is an engineer and he lives in Kuwait. Then the father stopped. I was eagerly waiting to hear about the fourth son, but he did not say anything. Then I asked about the fourth son. The father very casually told me that he is here. I thought he may be holding some responsible position in the government service or in one of the firms in Kerala. I asked the father where is he working. He again said very casually, “Oh he is here.” I asked; “where?” The father did not answer; he was quiet for some time. I felt that something is bothering him. I sat there quietly. Then I noticed that tears rolling down his cheeks. Pointing to a door on one side of the house and with shivering voice the father said, “Achen my fourth son is behind that door. If we open the door we cannot sit here. He is a mental patient.” With these words the father started weeping. Suddenly I felt sorry for the father. The realization that one of his sons is a mental patient gives immense sorrow to that father.

This is a similar case. May be this is one of the occasions in Jesus’ life where he felt great sorrow. You know why? Because one of his creation is standing before him as a mental patient. God created the universe and He found everything good. But now, here stands a marred creation before the Creator. Jesus must have felt immense sorrow at this moment. But the gospels say nothing about Jesus' sorrow at this time. It may be due to the reason that all the attention of the onlookers was captured by the demoniac. Their mental cameras were all focused to this man. His fierce stature and the shouts must have attracted all the attention of the onlookers to the demoniac. For a moment Jesus was forgotten by the crowd. If you carefully study the passage you may be able to see it here.

This miracle is recorded in all the first three gospels. Mark is the early gospel and it has the shortest descriptions of the miracles of Jesus. But Mark is giving a detailed description of this incident- the healing of the demoniac of Gadara. He is giving a very vivid picture, a pictorial presentation in words about the demoniac and the following incidents. None other gospels give this much details. People must have watched this man very carefully, every detail, so that Mark could get a detailed description of the man when he wrote his gospel.

Let us look into the descriptions that Mark is giving. This will give us a better understanding of the person.

1. The demoniac was coming out of the tombs.

Mark says that his dwelling was among the tombs. He was practically living in a cemetery. He was living with the dead.

2. He could not be controlled.

Mark goes on to explain it. He says people had often tried to bound him by chains and fetters, but he plucked the chains and the fetters were broken into pieces. Imagine that the man with the unclean spirit is standing before you. You watch the man carefully. You can see the pieces of chains hanging from his two arms; chains in different sizes and shapes. People tried to bind him by small chains at first. But he broke them immediately. Then they brought stronger chains. But he broke them also. They brought even stronger chains but those were just like old jute for him. Then they tried to bind his legs with fetters. He broke them in a matter of seconds. They tried it many times but it was useless.

3. He was making so much noise.

He was roaming on the mountains and in the valleys and in the cemetery. People could hear him shouting at far of places. When they hear the noise they shut themselves inside their homes and watching out through the windows. They were all scared. Without anybody telling them they all could know that the demoniac is coming their way when they hear the loud noise.

4. He was cutting himself with stones.

Let us once again look at the demoniac as he stands before our inner eyes. The first thing that attracts your attention is the channels of blood in his body. That is from the wounds that he made on his body a few moments earlier. Again if you look at him, you would see puss oozing out of his wounds that are infected. Those are the wounds that he made a few days ago. Again you can see wounds that are half healed and closed with scalps. You can also see numerous dark scars on his body that were wounds, but healed weeks before.

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Rev. Dr. M. J. Joseph

commented on Oct 7, 2017

Nice sermon, relevant to the times

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