Our city's worldview often collides with God’s - who is authoritative and gives us specific ways to live as we surrender to him.  What about this brings about tension in our city? Can you think of any particular examples where our culture collides with the teaching in the Bible?  Why do these tensions arise?

  • Thinking about who the original Jesus is can bring up complications and clutter. The New Testament gives us a clear picture of who Jesus is. 
  • Jesus has total and complete power and authority over all aspects of the world.
  • The Bible gives us more categories to explain the unseen things of today/ there is both a natural and spiritual side to existence. 
  • Jesus' actions often provoke awe and fear in the audience.
  • Central Idea: There is no middle ground with Jesus. He has amazing authority and yet can’t be controlled.  Leaving us with two choices: Do we surrender to him completely, or ask him to leave (5:17)?

Mark 4:35-5:20
Jesus Calms a Storm
35 On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” 36 And leaving the crowd, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. And other boats were with him. 37 And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. 38 But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” 39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” 41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
  • In the text, why are both groups afraid of Jesus?  Can you think of any current examples when humans are similarly fearful of God? Why are humans afraid of a God they can’t control? 
  • Are there any specific areas in your life that feel off-limits to God?  What about places where you might feel fear in the same way?  Elaborate on what causes these feelings;  why do they arise?
  • Place these answers into our current cultural moment.  How do these help clarify or make it more challenging to encounter the original Jesus?

  • If we have a God that is amazingly authoritative and yet also can’t be controlled, what comfort does this offer in your life?  
  • Place this over your answer to question #2 from above.  How does our surrender to God take away the pressure that we often feel from areas that seem “off-limits” to God?  
  • We are left with two choices.  We can either choose to surrender to God or ask God to go.  What does surrendering look like for you? Or with us, culturally, in Denver?

  • How does this text clarify helping those around us experience the original Jesus? 
  • What do you wish that everyone in Denver knew about Jesus from this text that they most likely don’t?

Father God, we are thankful that you are both in control and yet good.  God, we ask that you provide us the ability to surrender to you and let your wisdom and goodness be the guide of our life. Amen.