Mark 5:15 “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.”
Let’s look at the story about the Maniac. This man had many problems. He was Distanced, Discouraged, Defiant, Damaged, Disobedient, Dysfunctional Friends, Disturbed, and Destructive. This man represents: the lost, even the ones that were just saved this week, a family member you are concerned about spiritually, a friend who is backslidden and not right with God, a friend who is struggling with a sin or standard, a bus kid who is hard to handle, disruptive, fighting. So how do you turn a devil into a disciple?
1. Challenge. Jesus goes right to the man and addresses the problem…
He doesn’t go to the man’s neighbor, friend, brother, or sister. He goes to the very man and Challenges Him. Jesus challenged the problem, not the person. Jesus addressed the sin, not the sinner. Jesus had issue with the struggle, not the struggler. Jesus did not attack the man. He did not demean the man. He did not judge the man. Jesus dealt with the sin, the struggle, the problem.
2. Compassion. Jesus has compassion on the man, but also has compassion for the problem the man is going through. So much so, that Jesus asks the devil his name. Jesus cared about what was troubling this man. When we challenge that someone we are thinking of, we must be sure that we are full of compassion. A care not only to bring the sinner out, but a care for how deep the sinner is in.
3. Change. So, Jesus Challenges with Compassion, and what happens? A change occurs in this man’s life. Thank God for the change in our lives. If you haven’t experienced any change in your life, I am challenging you to Let God Change You! What change are you wanting to see in your bus kids, friends, family, coworkers, or converts? Have you challenged them, showed compassion, or emphasized change?
You can turn a devil into a disciple too. Are you a struggling Christian? Maybe you need a challenge to change. Let the compassion of Christ lead you to make those changes in your life.
Youth | Assistant Pastor
Clays Mill Baptist Church