As part of the Message 20 year celebrations, Frank did a mega-marathon preach at Ivy recently. I was privileged to hear some of the talks, and will put my notes from some of them on here, but the notes don’t do it justice! Get the full set of teaching on CD here by making a donation to the Message charity
There’s a lot of power at work in these stories collected by Mark. Power can be abused with terrible consequences. The whole creation has been hurt by the ABUSE of power but Jesus puts it right and reverses and renews it by the ABBA-use of power. By the end of Chapter 5 it’s 4-0 to Jesus. he beats the storm, the devils, sickness and even death. It’s breathtaking!
Power over the Deep (4:35-41)
The disciples were beginning to see many signs of who Jesus really was. The messiah? Yet different than what they expected. God was seen in the OT ruling over and subduing that place that was most scary for the Israelites – the sea. The boat is a traditional picture of the church, and it’s buffeted by the world. That’s an encouragement to them. ‘Do you not yet have SUFFICIENT faith?’ There’s an old kids song we used to sing – ‘With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm.’ Do you smile? Relax! Jesus is with you in the boat and he has the power you need.
2. Power over the Demonic (5:1-20)
Nobody is asking for help here – but God breaks in and destroys the work of the devil. The neighbours were scared by the power of Jesus, that’s why they wanted rid of him. His power is let loose here as a foretaste of salvation coming to the Gentiles. Satan has brought humiliation and torment, Jesus treats him like a human being and dignifies him by delivering him. Jesus also sends him back to community, and sending him out as a messenger. Jesus here gains a foothold over the enemy territory, and a stranglehold on the enemy. These days we can hide ourselves away and do that which isolates and hurts ourselves. We too can receive total deliverance.
3. Power over Disease. (5:25-34)
This woman has many obstacles to healing. No rabbi would help her. Is she trying to bypass the system to get to the power. Jesus demonstrates grace outside the rule. Turns religion on its head and calls her ‘Daughter’ not sinner. Come to him! Bring your mess, in faith.
4. Power over Death (5:21-24, 35-43)
Arise = be resurrected! This is actually only a resuscitation. Jesus never panics like on Casualty. Not even concern. He is free from the agenda of the people, he’s servant of all but not mastered by anyone’s agenda. He knows he isn’t omnipresent. So he gets there when he can and does what he can do. And he has power over death. He even brings his disciples in on seeing how he can bring life back. He comes to your dream and passion and says ‘Come and wake up!’ We can pray ‘Talitha Koum!!’ too.
Jesus is the eternal source of divine power and he has not stopped! Don’t let anything get in his way. The only thing that prevented Jesus unleashing many miracles was UNBELIEF. You can pray, ‘Lord I believe, help me overcome my unbelief.’