Mark 5:1-17
Sunday – 3 Mar 2019 10:57:45 am – Pastor James Yang

One day, David prayed to the Lord that he was so thankful that he could wake up and sleep. David realised how frail he was. David recognised himself through the perspective of God. He said that if we are weighed altogether, we are lighter than vapour.

Once I went to a hospital ward full of men who had high degree burns to their bodies. There was a very bad stench. Together with another pastor that I knew, I tried to speak to a man who was suffering from high degree burns. But he was not able to speak with me as he was into himself. This person apparently was a director of a company. A few days ago, they had a company party and he had drunk alcohol. So as a good citizen, he did not drive home but caught a cab. Before the cab took off, he gave $10 to the driver and said “It usually costs me about $7.5 to get home from work but you can keep the remaining as tips”. So he fell asleep and when the driver arrived at the destination, the driver asked the man to pay for his fare. But the man was very very upset as he had already paid the driver. So they got into an argument, which then led them to the police station.

As the police saw the man, they sided with the taxi driver and jailed the man for a day. On the next day, when he woke up, he recalled all that happened last night. He was so furious that he had paid the $10 yet the driver thinks he did not. So as soon as he was released, he went to the paint shop, bought two bottles of thinner and returned to the police station.

“Who is the director here??? I have paid the $10 to the taxi driver. But I was deceived and was jailed wrongly. If you do not apologise then I will kill myself right here!” This was how he tried to intimate the police.

He lighted up the fire with his lighter and poured the thinner on him. He did so to intimidate the police. But as soon as he lighted it up, he started burning. The officers who should have put out the fire for him all ran away. It was a pedestrian who was passing by that took off his coat and quenched the fire for him.

I heard that if 30% of the skin surface is burnt, then one dies. Too much skin was burnt off. He was on the verge of death and was in the hospital. After being discharged, many visitors came to see him. They were all very emphatic and agreed with the decision of the man. Even two offices and the director of the police office were sacked. His visitors all agreed with this decision and thus comforted and exalted the man’s heart.

When the pastor I know went to his house to visit, he could barely step in because of all the maggots wriggling around. As pastor spoke to him, he said “I PAID THE TAXI FEE!!!”

Pastor said, “I have never seen such an evil person like you. What’s so great about you pay $10?” And although his whole body was dead, his mouth was still moving and swearing at the pastor and asked him to get out! But pastor insisted “You are such a waste of a man. You call yourself a man? Look at your wife, look at your children, you burnt yourself because you only thought about yourself and your own righteousness. Can’t you hear your wife cry? Can’t you hear your children crying? Can’t you just have paid another $10 and spare all this suffering? Everyone is suffering because of you. Just because you wanted to prove to yourself that you are right.” As the man told off the pastor and told the pastor to get out, pastor said, “I am going out. I don’t even want to be here! Just look at this stinky place. I don’t want to be here any more second further. I am leaving! I hate this place!” and pastor slammed the door and left.

After pastor was gone, this man started thinking and reflecting on the words of pastor. Folks, don’t you think what pastor did was cool? In this world, people can tell you all the good things. But someone telling you that you are wrong is not easy. This is what the church does. Have you ever heard that you are wrong from others? If you can take that, and see that you are wrong, then that is most blessed. It is a great thing if someone can point out where you are wrong and if you can accept it.

As the man thought more and more, he saw more and more that he was wrong. So he called out finally, “Honey! Honey! Please call the pastor who left. Please ask him to come back”. But it was 1 am in the morning, and so they could not call. But on the very next day, the wife called pastor to come. So pastor returned later in the day and preached the gospel to this man. Eventually, he received salvation. He preached the gospel to his friends and for about three months, he lived on. After that he died. It is unfortunate but it is thankful he received salvation.

If you think you are so right, that right thought will control your life. Even though you are losing your life, you will not realise it.

Reflecting on mankind, think about this:

“How much less man, who is a maggot, And a son of man, who is a worm?””
‭‭Job‬ ‭25:6‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

The salvation testimony of the man was also so thankful. “Pastor, I thought I was always a right person. But now, I know how wrong I am. Pastor, please preach this precious gospel to my family members as well”.

The more you consider you are right as a person, the more you will end up perishing.

“who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no one could bind him, not even with chains, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains. And the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces; neither could anyone tame him.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭5:3-4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

No one can actually pull apart chains and shackles. The man was demon possessed and the demon was very strong. Chains and shackles represent human relationships – e.g. between husband and wife. When you think you are so right, you can cut down the relationship so easily – be it with family or be it with other people.

Do you know how your heart is formed? You are living as a right person. This is why you cut off the relationships so easily.

“Then they came to Jesus, and saw the one who had been demon-possessed and had the legion, sitting and clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. And those who saw it told them how it happened to him who had been demon-possessed, and about the swine. Then they began to plead with Him to depart from their region.”
‭‭Mark‬ ‭5:15-17‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Verse 17 is so weird, isn’t it? Which is greater? The demon possessed man being made whole and normal or the swines dying? Well, there were 2,000 swines and all of them died. People of the village should have valued the heart of Jesus and asked Him to come and cleanse and solve all problems in the village. However, their focus was only on the swines and thus asked Jesus to leave the city.

There are so many people in the world who are like the people in the villages here. They know that they would change but they do not want to change. Such people are very selective in their heart to hear the Word of God.

Even with brothers and sisters in the church, there are many who are like this not knowing who they are. Such people push Jesus away. This means that people consider themselves as right people.

Honestly, I am afraid of this: I don’t know when Jesus would come back, so are you sure of your salvation?

“And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, so Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him He will appear a second time, apart from sin, for salvation.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭9:27-28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

For those who do not have sin anymore, for such Jesus will come back a second time for their salvation.

Many people say they have received salvation, but they are the same as the villages – they actually ask Jesus to leave their region, which means their hearts.

When you become the wrong person, then you can gain the heart of God.

Your own self-righteousness is what breaks the relationship with others. You really need to see your own heart.

From the day when Adam and Eve ate the fruits of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, God started to break down their hearts. God is now also breaking down the hearts of humans.

People misunderstand that they become good people after they receive salvation. But the fact is that we are still evil and dirty, which is why we need Jesus. Evil and dirty is different from sin itself.

Had the man paid an extra $10, even though he was right, how pleasant would it have been that he would have saved his life? And he would still have a happy family?