Sunday School Material - Recognizing Jesus

(Mark 5:1-13, 18-20; 10/11/09)

Introduction: A key idea in today's Sunday School material is Jesus healed a possessed man and sent him to do home ministry. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to let God use us to do His marvelous will.

Body:
Read Mark 5:1-5
I. The Plight of the Demon-Possessed Man.
Jesus and His disciples came to the country of the Gadarenes, in this first section of the Sunday School material. A man with an unclean spirit approached them. The man had a reputation of being unruly.

Applications –
- Notice in vs. 2 that as soon as Jesus and His disciples came out of the ship that a ministry opportunity came to them. We should work on staying ready to serve the Lord. We never know when we will have to minister to others.

That is why being able to articulate the Membership Orientation material and our testimony is so important. Let's work on staying ready to serve the Lord.

- Notice in vss. 4-5 that the demon possessed man is known for causing himself harm, living among tombs, and being unruly. There are too many people, even in the church who cause themselves harm with poor eating and exercise routines, not too mention smoking and getting drunk.

There are too many who are stuck in the past, instead of striving for the future. There are too many who are unruly, instead of striving to live for the Lord with decency and order in a community of other believers. Let's work on having a clean spirit.

A clean spirit is the opposite of an unclean spirit. A clean spirit takes care of itself. A clean spirit looks forward. A clean spirit strives to live decently and orderly in community with the other Christian family members.

And let's help others have a clean spirit through our evangelistic and edification efforts (e.g., Each Reach One).

Read Mark 5:6-13
II. The Deliverance of the Demon-Possessed Man.
In this second section of the Sunday School material. There is an exchange of words between the devils and Jesus. Jesus allowed the devils to possess about 2,000 nearby swine. The swine ran off a cliff to their deaths.

Applications –
- Notice in vs. 7 that the demons knew who Jesus was. Jesus really is the Son of God. However, it is not enough to know in our head. We must believe in Jesus so much, in our hearts, that we seek to obey Him with our very lives.

Knowledge is not enough. Let's make sure we live like we believe that Jesus is the Son of God. This type of living should be known for loving God, ourselves, and others.

- Notice in vs. 13 that Jesus essentially gave the demons permission to possess the nearby swine. Although there are several speculations, the truth is we don't know why Jesus did this.

Furthermore, there will be times that we don't understand what God is doing, but we would do well to simply trust that He is working things out for the good of those who love Him. Let's work on trusting God, even when we don't understand Him. Our trust is demonstrated by our obedience.

Read Mark 5:18-20
III. The Transformation of the Demon-Possessed Man.
The healed man sought to travel with Jesus, in this third section of the Sunday School material. Jesus sent him home to be a witness, instead. The man became a great witness in the area.

Applications –
- Notice in vss. 18-19 that what the former possessed man desired was not in accord with what God has planned for his life. There is a way that seems right to a person, but the ends of our thinking may well end in death.

Let's work on denying and dedicating ourselves to doing God's will for our lives. Obedience is better than sacrifice.

- Notice in vss. 19-20 that Jesus sent the man home to be a witness, and he appears to have done a great job. There are those who seek to do great things at church, in some community other than their own, and even in foreign missions, when God may be calling them to do some home ministry.

Spouses and parents have some valuable home ministry to do that may be a greater priority to God than our singing in the choir or ushering at the church door. Let's seek the wisdom and energy to obey God's will for our lives.

Conclusion: Based on this Sunday School material, let's work on letting God use us to do His marvelous will. God has much for those who obey Him.

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