What Jesus Did! 'On Strange Turf' — Mark 5:1-2

Monday, March 18, 2024

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So [Jesus and the disciples] arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him.
— Mark 5:1-2 NLT

Key Thought

Jesus was taking his disciples to new places. The particular new place in this event they shared with Jesus was strange. The strangeness had to do with what they would experience — an encounter with a demon-possessed man. Adding to this strangeness was the place they encountered him — near a cemetery where the demon-afflicted man lived among the tombs. If we examine the story carefully, the disciples appear to have remained in the boat during the whole encounter between Jesus and the demonized man. They weren't quite ready to step out of the boat and take on this strange new world. Jesus was trying to teach them that he would go with them and empower them to do quite unbelievable things if they would follow his lead. The power of this experience was one of those indelible memories they carried with them as they faced horrible challenges of their own — challenges orchestrated by the dark lord of demons. As the Lord leads us, he reminds us that we are a pilgrim people — always on the move toward God and away from the familiar. Yet as he leads us to new places, new experiences, and new challenges, he also asks us to remember how he has been with us in the past and to be assured that he has already conquered the dark lord we so often fear.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, my Abba Father, give me the courage and strength to follow you wherever you lead me. I know that you have been at work to prepare me, but help me, dear Lord, to move past preparation into a time of fruitfulness. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 13:5-6
  • Romans 8:35-39
  • Philippians 3:12-15


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Illustration of Mark 5:1-2 NLT —  When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.