Tuesday, June 25, 2013

What are you afraid of?

Mark 4:35-5:43

Jesus demonstrated his ultimate power over all creation by conquering three of humanity's primal fears. Paul would later write, “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)

One primal fear is weather. In ancient times people believed that weather related phenomena were the work of the gods. Thunder, lightning, and storms were terrifying and unpredictable. More terrifying still is the destructive force of tsunamis, hurricanes and tornadoes. Science has not conquered nature but Jesus has. Once, on the Sea of Galilee, a terrible storm arose. The disciples were frightened but Jesus said, “Quiet! Be still.” (Mark 4:39)

The storm ended and the disciples asked, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41)

Another primal fear is the occult. Stories of ghosts and zombies attempt to describe those dark forces we instinctively fear. Our more scientific minds see these creatures as mythical but the fear is still there. TV shows like Criminal Minds and Hannibal take a secular look at activity that once ascribed to demonic creatures. Truly there must be something demonic in the things that some humans will do to others.

Jesus encountered a man who lived among the tombs and was demon possessed. A true horror story here. The demon recognized Jesus' authority and left the man. The Bible tells us of 6 incidents where Jesus cast out demons.

Jeffrey Dahmer, the infamous serial killer and cannibal from Wisconsin, was transformed by the power of Christ. If Christ can conquer the demons that led this man to such acts of horror, then we have nothing to fear from the occult.

Death, a third primal fear, invokes a terror that is both personal and universal. We will spend a fortune to save our own life or that of a loved one. It is hard to let go. Yet, although medical miracles are more frequent today, we all will die.

Jesus demonstrated His authority over this fear, too. Jesus is called upon to heal a sick girl but she dies before he can get to her. Jesus goes to the girl and restores her life and health. We can live without fear. Jesus said “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.” (John 11:25 NIV)

The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1 NIV

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