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Mission Impossible #2: Confrontations (2015-0920)

. 2 min read

Call
to Worship, Psalm 2
Children, Joshua 5.13-15
Message,
Mark 5.1-20
Binding
two related themes
      Impossible things that we must face in
family life, professional life
      Impossible call of Jesus to follow &
serve
Last
week: Departures
Confrontation
in Mark’s gospel
      With religious authorities
      With political power (Rome)
Jesus’
message: The time … the kingdom … the good news
      Ancient kingdoms don’t coexist with one
another
      Like immortals in the Highlander series or presidential candidates:
            “There can be only one”
Psalm
2:2  The kings of the earth set
themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD and his
anointed
Mark
3:26-27  And if Satan has risen up
against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but his end has come. But no
one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his property without first tying
up the strong man; then indeed the house can be plundered.
      Joshua and the commander of the Lord’s
army, Joshua 5.13-15
The
man possessed … Symbolic interpretation
      Symbols of uncleanness – tombs, pigs,
unclean spirit
      Symbols of chaos – sea, stampede
      Symbols of Roman power – “Legion”, boar’s
head
Sociological
interpretation of possession
      Absorbing the conflict, confrontation,
stress of larger community
      Oppressed societies, abusive families
Jesus
      Not looking for trouble
      Confronting the trouble that finds him
Your
mission … should you choose to accept it

Confrontation
– external, in relationships:
      Telling someone that their work is just
not good enough
      Sitting down with someone who has broken
their vows
      Being falsely accused
      Disappointing someone, by choice (Jesus
sends the man home)
      Making amends with those you have wronged
            (12 steps, additional reason man
returned home?)
Confrontation
– external, in systems:
“Resist
evil, injustice, and oppression in whatever form they present themselves”
Homelessness
– Ruth’s Place, Habitat
Poverty,
racism
Confrontation
– internal:
      The most painful honesty is honesty with
ourselves
      Bringing discipline to bear against our
addiction, desire, expectation
      Greeting card: “Backbone beats wishbone
every time”

However, the most important internal transformations
are NOT by our own effort but by the presence of Jesus who confronts evil, even
internal to me, and gives not judgment but grace to overcome.
The man and Jesus:
“I am Legion” – the courage to name your sin and struggle
“Do not torture me” – Jesus does NOT torture him! Jesus gives him grace.