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From the editor: What He left behind

J Grant

The voyage had been fraught with danger (Mk 4.35-41). The fear that had stricken the hearts of the disciples, even those who had experience of the ferocity of storms on that sea, had been laid to rest by the words and actions of the Lord. They had come to shore on calm waters. But, having dealt with a troubled sea, the Lord was now faced with three troubled individuals with whom only He had power to deal.

The first of these was a man possessed of many demons - an extreme case of demon possession (Mk 5.1-21). He had been bound with chains in an attempt to control him, but this was to no avail. His dwelling place was amongst the tombs, a man living with death around him. Here was a situation that no one could control until the Lord came, and then immediate deliverance was effected. The man was now sitting at peace and able to enjoy the company of the Lord, clothed so that he had the necessary dignity to be in the presence of the Lord, and in his right mind, making him fit for the teaching of the Lord. The last view we have of this man is that he is left in the country of the Gadarenes as the Lord and the disciples returned over the sea. What did the Lord leave behind here? He left a man testifying. What a testimony he would have, the remarkable change in him clearly seen by all.

The second of these three was a woman who had endured twelve years of suffering (Mk 5.25-34). Despite spending all that she had, no cure had been found and her weakness had increased. Yet, as she pressed her way through the crowd she was persuaded that even if she could touch his garment she would be healed. Why she had such faith is not revealed to us, but the reality of it cannot be doubted. Her emaciated fingers reached out towards Him, she touched His garment, and immediately her suffering was over. The Lord did not cast His eyes over the crowd to see if He could identify who had done this; rather He looked round to see her, and without a word to her from the Master she fell at His feet. What did the Lord leave behind here? He left a woman worshipping.

The last of the three was the most serious case of all - a child of twelve years of age who was dead (Mk 5.22-24; 35-43). When Jairus had besought the Lord to come to his home his daughter was yet alive. Further messengers brought the sad news that she was dead and the presence of the weeping mourners at the home proclaimed that death had indeed claimed her. It was an apparently hopeless case. But even death would yield to His words. He spoke to the maiden and immediately death retreated. No one ever died in His presence, and when He met death He left life behind Him. The sight of her walking about and the command of the Lord that something should be given her to eat confirmed her restoration to health. What did the Lord leave behind here? He left a damsel feeding.

These events were all part of the education of the disciples, but there is also a lesson for every reader to take to heart. He has come into our lives and His healing touch has delivered us from the ravages of sin and its dominance over us. Our condition was such that none other could deal with it. How have we behaved since His work was done in our souls?

From what we have considered it can be seen that He has left us to testify, to worship, and to feed. Have we responded? Do we testify? Not all men are competent gospel preachers, but brethren and sisters can testify of Him both by how they live and by what they say. Do we bow in worship before Him and acknowledge that we are the undeserving recipients of His grace? Do we feed on His Word to get to know Him and His will? Let us seek to ensure that what He left behind Him as He dealt with these three is what is found in us. By testifying, worshipping, and feeding we will be able to serve in a manner that pleases Him more and more.


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