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From the editor: What He left behind (Mark 5)

J Grant

The account of the great storm that overtook the boat in which the Lord and His disciples were travelling is well known. That journey did not picture our journey to heaven. It was, rather, a journey to a place where death held sway. When they arrived they encountered a man who lived amongst the graves (v.2), and after their return to the other side they met a woman who had suffered for twelve years (vv.25-34) and a girl who was dead (vv.35-43). These events were part of the training through which the disciples were passing, and the lessons they learned would be invaluable in their future service for the Master. For us these three people who met the Lord picture the world in which we are called to serve, and it is profitable to see what the Lord left behind Him as He passed through and dealt with them. Their condition appeared to be hopeless, with no ray of light to gladden their days.

The first man, living amongst the tombs, had suffered at his own hands. All society could do was bind him with chains. Physically, however, he was a powerful man as the broken chains lying at his feet proved. Beyond human help, he passed his days adding to his pain in a condition that no one could alleviate.

But then the Lord came! He recognised Him as did the demons who tormented him. There was no long delay; the demons had to go and the Lord took control. We see the remarkable sight of a man who had no peace, now "sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind" (v.15). What a glorious deliverance! The commission given to him was clear: "Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee" (v.19). What did the Lord Jesus leave behind Him? He left behind Him a man proclaiming what had been done in his life, telling out the greatness of the work of Christ.

Having crossed over the sea, the Lord was asked to go to the house where a young girl lay dying. He was, however, interrupted by a woman who had endured twelve years of agony (vv.25-34). No doctor could help; it appeared to be a hopeless case - just as hopeless as the demon possessed man. The woman did not intend to interrupt the Lord. One can imagine that emaciated hand stretching out to touch His garment. What faith she had. If only she could do this before it was too late she was sure that she would be healed.

What she must have felt as, at last, she achieved her purpose, and what joy there would be as her body was restored to health. The twelve years of anguish were over. Truly the Lord was the great Healer. But then He stopped and looked around, fixing his eyes on her. Trembling, she fell at His feet and told Him all, and with delight she heard Him say, "Daughter". As we see her falling down before Him we note that here He left behind Him a woman at peace.

But death still lay ahead. The woman had delayed Him and there must have been anxiety in the hearts of some that He would be too late to deal with the ill daughter. As they approached the home the noise of the mourners proclaimed the fact that the maiden, who was twelve years of age, was dead. With calm dignity the Lord told the mourners to go. With no delay, and with loving words, He acted. "Talitha cumi…I say unto thee, arise" (v.41). On hearing these words the dead child obeyed Him. What wonder must have filled the hearts of the parents as He took her hand and she rose and walked about. His command was that "something should be given her to eat" (v.43). He left behind Him a young girl feeding.

Is this not what happens when the gospel comes in? Such was the lesson to be learned by the disciples and by us. When the Lord passes through our lives, and in so doing becomes our Lord and our Saviour, He leaves us to proclaim Christ, to tell others of Him; He leaves us to worship; He leaves us to feed from the Scriptures. Proclaiming, at peace, feeding! Let us ensure that we do not fall short.

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