By Chris Chambers
Pastor, Brush Creek Baptist Church, Brush Creek
Focal Passage: Mark 9:14-27
In Mark 9:14-18, we see the obedience of a demon commanded by Jesus to come out of a man’s son who had sought Jesus but, initially found only his disciples. The disciples could do nothing with the demon. Jesus, however, commanded the demon to come out and it did.
This is always the result when Jesus confronts demons. He commands and they obey — no questions asked. He even commands them at times to remain silent about who he is, and they do. They never resist Jesus or hesitate to obey his commands.
“Forward, the Light Brigade!/ Was there a man dismayed?/ Not though the soldier knew/ Someone had blundered./ Theirs not to make reply,/ Theirs not to reason why,/ Theirs but to do and die./ Into the valley of Death/ Rode the six hundred.”
The second verse of the poem by Alfred Lord Tennyson memorializes the event that took place in 1854 during the Crimean War. Six hundred men were commanded to their death because of a mistake by a commanding officer.
What are the commands of Jesus? He tells us in Matthew 22:37 the greatest command is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” Then, two verses later, he says the second greatest command is to “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In Matthew 5:44 Jesus says, “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Another command is called the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them everything I have commanded you.”
When Jesus commands, why do we not obey? Why are we less like the soldiers in the Light Brigade when we should be even more fearless? When Jesus commands us, he is not going to command us to do anything that will not benefit us in some way.
When He commands us to do something, while we may not understand it, it will not be a wasted or unfruitful act. The demons move and obey Jesus and we are less like them.
Why? Maybe it is because we are less afraid of Jesus than they are. Maybe we do not obey the commands of Jesus because we do not respect him as the demons do.
The soldiers did their duty with no questions even though they were riding to their death and it would be a futile act.
Jesus commands us to witness, love, and pray, yet we are hesitant to obey and we question him as if he has made a mistake. Unlike the commander of the Light Brigade, Jesus has all of the correct information and knows exactly what to do with it.
The results of obeying Jesus will not be tragic or futile, but could very well change someone’s eternity. We should be more in awe of our commander and less resistant. B&R