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SECOND SUNDAY IN LENT.
Christ Stilling the Tempest. MARK iv. 35-41.
35. And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side.
36. And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
36. And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
38. And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake
1. CHRIST IN THE STORM. Vs. 35-38.
OUTLINE: 2. JESUS' POWER OVER NATURE. Vs. 39.
3. CONFLICT OF FAITH AND FEAR. Vs. 40-41.
"Be still, and know that I am God." Ps. 48: 10.
him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
39. And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
40. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
41. And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him
Ques. 10. Will God suffer such disobedience and rebellion to go unpunished?
The other side-of the Sea of Galilee. It is oval-shaped, and about thirteen miles long and six wide. A great storm of wind-sweeping down the mountain gorges, and stirring up the waters. Asleep on a pillow-the Son of Man, weary with incessant labor. Carest thou not? The question of troubled souls. Rebuked the wind. This implies that a hostile power was at work. A great calm-Nature submissive to her Lord. Fearful. In the conflict between fear and faith, fear triumphed for a little while. The words of Jesus restored their faith again.
Ans. By no means, but is terribly displeased with our original as well as actual sins; and will punish them in His just
"He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still." Ps. evii. 29.
38. Where was Jesus during the storm? Why did he sleep? What did His disciples do and say?
39. Did Jesus become excited, like the terrified disciples? What did He do to the
judgment, temporally and eternally, as He hath declared: "Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law, to do them."
Verse 35. How had Jesus spent this day? | wind? What did He say.to the sea? What What did He propose to do in the evening?
was the effect?
36. On what sea did they sail that night? Did the multitudes go along? Were there other ships, besides that which bore Christ and His Apostles?
37. Was this an unusually severe storm? Were any of His disciples accustomed to the dangers of this sea? Which four, especially? Could not their skill keep the boat from filling with water?
40. What made the disciples fearful? Had danger, for the time being, weakened their faith?
41. Of whose power, instead of the storm's, do they now stand in awe? Would the wind and sea obey a mere man? Do storms beat upon all of us in this life? Whose presence and power do we then invoke? Does Jesus help and save, when His people seem to be perishing? Which storms are most dangerous-outward calamities, or the passions of the heart? Are you prepared to cross the sea of life "to the other side?"
March 5th, 1882. TOPIC: Christ is Lord of Nature. Hitherto we have seen Jesus in conflict with the stormy passions of men and evil spirits, and asserting His sway over them. In this lesson we see His calm repose amidst the storms of nature, His power over its forces, making the sea a calm, and quieting the fears of His disciples.
I. CHRIST IN THE STORM. Vs. 35-38. | The weary Son of Man sought repose, which He could not find in Capernaum. Friends and foes kept pressing upon Him, and now He finds it necessary to escape from them for a season. He must also take His Apostles apart from the multitude, and instruct them in the duties of their office. "Let us pass over unto the other side,"—that is, from Capernaum, to the eastern shore of the sea of Galilee. Besides He went to seek the lost sheep that were there, and preach the gospel in other cities.
The sea of Galilee is oval-shaped, and about thirteen miles long and six wide. Nestled at the foot of the mountains of Lebanon, it was at times calm; but at other times storms swept down through the gorges, and lashed its surface into an angry tempest.
Some of the Apostles were experienced sailors, but the storm that evening baffled their skill and strength alike. The foaming waves leaped over the sides of the little ship, and it began to fill with water. The crew was in imminent peril, and the floods of fear began to fill their breasts.
One alone remained calm, and He was asleep in the hinder part of the vessel. The storms of nature did not disturb the Master of earth and sea.
The experience of the disciples in the storm-tossed ship was a blessed one for them, and for the Church in all times. The ark of salvation has often been beaten upon by the hostile world, and her inmates have well nigh despaired; but the Lord is ever with them in the storm.
the Master: "Carest Thou not that we suffer?"
II. JESUS' Power over NATURE.— Vs. 39. How calm was Jesus amidst the convulsions of winds and waves! He rebuked the wind, as though it were subject to a hostile power. Some have thought that the tempest was raised by "the prince of the power of the air," and hence it called forth the Master's rebuke. But we need not attribute the tempest to Satanic opposition; for "stormy wind fulfilling His will" is part of God's government of the world. In nature and history there are storms as well as calm; and God ever controls both for His glory and for the good of His people. The "rebuke" was only the command of the Ruler to His subjects. He rules the raging of the sea. When the waves thereof rise, He stills them.
The Apostles seemed to chide Jesus, "Carest Thou not that we perish ?" The words imply that they believed in His power to help them, but that they doubted whether He really cared for their safety. How often do tempest-tossed souls ask
III. CONFLICT BETWEEN FAITH AND FEAR. VS. 40-41. So prone are we to walk by sight, rather than by faith, that our hearts are often agitated by doubts and fears. Danger awakens fear, and faith suffers partial eclipse. But notice Jesus' words: Why are ye fearful? I am with you; be not dismayed. "Where is your faith?" (Luke 8: 25.) They had enough of it left to lead them to call upon Him, but not enough to trust Him fully. Belief, rather than assured confidence.
The outward perils of life bring doubt and fear; but when Christ gives us the victory, our faith becomes strong, and the fear of Him supplants our fear of all else.
Notice two important lessons relative to Christ's Person:
1. His sleep evinces the reality of His human nature.
2. His power to silence the agitated wind and sea, proves the reality of His Divine nature and power.
THE REV. DR. JOHN HALL, of New York, made an energetic protest on Sunday night last against the tendency to designate churches in the city by the name of their pastors. "It has become common," he said, " to speak of his own congregation, for example, Dr. Hall's Church." "I tell you, I hate the very name. I am a servant and not owner of the church."
THIRD SUNDAY IN LENT.
Power over Evil Spirits. MARK V. 1-20.
1. And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes.
2. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs, a man with an unclean spirit,
3. Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4. Because he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains and in the tombs, crying and cutting
himself with stones.
6. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him.
7. And cried, with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus thou Son of the most High God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8. (For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.)
9. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are
10. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
11. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12. And all the devils besought him, saying,
Ques. 11. Is not God also merciful? Ans. God is indeed merciful, but also just; therefore His justice requires that sin, which is committed against the most high
Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
Verses 1-5. Into what country does Jesus next go? Who met Him? Was he alone in the tombs? See Matt. 8: 28.
13. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine; and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea (they were about two thousand), and were choked in the sea.
3-4. How were tombs made? Who made their homes in these tombs? What gave the demoniac such great strength?
5. What was the condition of this poor sufferer?
6.-7. Did he recognize the presence of a superior Being? How did he show his fear and reverence? Was it the man, or the evil spirit within him, who thus adjured Christ? Was there, then, a double, divided state of mind and will?
14. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out
to see what it was that was done.
8. Do Jesus' words recognize this twofold personality? What are His words?
9. What does He ask the man? Why?
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.
1. EVIL EFFECTS OF SATAN'S INFLUENCE. Vs. 1-9.
16. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
17. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
CENTRAL TR гн.
He healed all that were oppressed of the "For this purpose the Son of God was devil. Acts 10: 38. manifested, that he might destroy the
18. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
19. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to the friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Verse 1. Better "Gerasenes "-twenty miles east of the sea of Galilee, in the country of Gilead. 3. Tombs were hewn in the sides of rocks and hills. Lepers and demoniacs sought shelter in them. 4. Mania gives increase of muscular strength. 9. Legion6,000 soldiers; a numerous, solid host, well armed. 11. Swine were raised, to sell to Roman soldiers. Not eaten by Jews. 12. They do not say make us good, but send us into swine! Compare v. 15 with 3-5. 17. A sinful prayer. 18-20. A grateful soul. 20. Decapolis-ten cities, east and southeast of the sea of Galilee.
20. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him : and äll men did marvel.
majesty of God, be also punished with extreme, that is, with everlasting punishment, both of body and soul.
Ans. In order to help him to recall to his own mind his former state, with all its happy associations. Would this aid in his cure? Would it be a "coming to himself?" How many are a legion?
10-13. Is it natural that "unclean spirits " should wish to enter into swine? Does sin make man brutish?
14-17. Describe the man's new condition, v. 15. What prayer did the multitude make? v. 17. Do you wish Jesus to depart from you?
18-20. With whom does the renewed heart love to be? Is it right to tell our friends what God has done for our souls? Did love and gratitude prompt this man to publish the miracle?
LESSON 11. March 12th, 1882.
In our lesson to-day we see the violent disorder in human life, caused by Satan's influence and power, as in the last lesson we saw the disorder in nature. There the sea was agitated by the wind; here the depths of the soul are troubled by demoniacal influence, and the mind and the will are under its power.
NOTE. On the lesson-leaf, place a period after "Gerasenes," and then read: The land of the Gadarenes is twenty miles south-east, etc. Gerasa is the place where Jesus landed, not Gadara.
V. 8. These words of Jesus recognize a two-fold personality also: a "man,” and an "unclean spirit."
V. 9. The question, What is thy name? is addressed to the man, to bring him to self-consciousness, to help him to call to mind what he had been,
and thus long for a deliverance from the power of the devil. But the evil spirit uses the man's organs of speech, and answers the question: My name is legion, for we are many. I am a host, or the head of many wild powers.
Thus evil meets its own overthrow,
for now this legion was cast into the abyss. The Lord destroyed the works of the devil, indeed.
II. THE CAPTIVE DELIVERED. Vs. 15-16. Freeing the man from Satan's power was the calming of the troubled soul-a miracle not only of power, but of mercy-a giving of deliverance to the captives.
I. EVIL EFFECTS OF SATAN'S INFLUENCE. Vs. 1-9. Ancient tombs were hewn out of rocks; and in these mountain retreats lepers and demoniacs sometimes sought shelter. Two of the latter kind of unfortunate persons met our Saviour and His disciples near the eastern shore of the lake. St. Mark mentions but one, whilst St. Matthew tells us (8: 28), that there were two; one may have been silent and passive, and hence is not specially referred to by St. Mark.
See the contrast between the man as he was, when under the devil's power, and as he now is, under the influence of Jesus! No longer running, and crying, and naked, and bleeding with self-inflicted wounds, but "sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind." That is what Christ by His gospel and Spirit is doing every day for sinful men.
In lesson second we have tried to explain the nature and effects of demoniacal possession. This man's strength was V. 17. The owners of the swine sufsupernatural, as not even chains could fered loss; and the other inhabitants bind him. "Neither could any man joined them in asking Jesus to depart tame him.". He was a wild man, cry-out of their coasts. It was a wicked ing, and cutting himself with stones. prayer. Certain kinds of business are What a shipwreck was this! injured by Christ, whenever He comes in gospel power. Then traffickers in sin denounce Him, and bid His disciples depart with curses.
Vs. 6-7. Supernatural intelligence alone could recognize Jesus afar off, for His own disciples did not at that time know fully who Jesus was. This unfortunate man paid Him the homage of worship.
But he recognizes the wall of separation between himself and Christ. What have I to do with Thee? Notice the double action of the demoniac: a distinction between the possessed and the possessor. The man worshipped" Je sus; but the evil spirit cried out, "torment me not." The devil fears a worse
Vs. 18-20. Here we have the picture of a grateful soul. He no longer wishes to dwell in the old tombs-the old haunts-but prays to be with Jesus. He was full of gratitude for his great deliverance. But Jesus bade him go home, and work as a missionary among his former companions, and proclaim what the Lord had done for him. Then, too, in that home there were sad hearts, mourning over his deplorable condition. How it would relieve and comfort them to see him in his right mind!
Thus, before Jesus left the ungrateful people, He placed a preacher among them, whose testimony set all hearts to marveling. Great good is done by Christians telling how great things the Lord hath done for them.
Vs. 10-14. The request of the demons is characteristic. They did not wish to be sent into the bottomless pit, (Rev. 20: 31). They prefer God's fair earth -even if they must dwell in swine!
FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT.
Power over Disease and Death. MARK V. 21-43.
21. And when Jesus was passed over again by ship unto the other side, much people gathered unto him; and he was nigh unto the sea.
22. And, behold, there cometh one of the rulers the synagogue, Jairus by name; and when he saw him, he fell at his feet,
23. And besought him greatly, saying, My little daughter lieth at the point of death: I pray thee, come and lay thy hands on her, that she may be healed; and she shall live.
24. And Jesus went with him; and much people followed him, and thronged him.
25. And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years,
26. And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse.
27. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind and touched his garment.
28. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes I shall be whole.
32. And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.
"I have the keys of death and of Hades." -Rev. 1: 18.
Ques. 12. Since, then, by the righteous judgment of God, we deserve temporal and eternal punishment, there no way by which we may escape that punishment, and be received again into favor?
33. But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.
34. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.
1. JAIRUS' DAUGHTER RESTORED TO LIFE. Vs. 21-23 & 35-43.
35. While he yet spake, there came from the ruler of the synagogue's house certain which said, Thy daughter is dead; why troublest thou the Master any further?
36. As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, he saith unto the ruler of the synagogue, Be not afraid, only believe.
"Be not afraid, only believe." Mark v. 36.
Verses 21-23. Who sought Jesus' help? What was he? Had he faith in the Lord?
37. And he suffered no man to follow him, save Peter, and James, and John the brother of James. 38. And he cometh to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and seeth the tumult, and them that wept and wailed greatly.
39. And when he was come in, he saith unto them, Why make ye this ado, and weep? the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth.
40. And they laughed him to scorn. But when he had put put them all out, he taketh the father and the mother of the damsel, and them that were with him, and entereth in where the damsel was lying.
41. And he took the damsel by the hand, and said unto her, Talitha cumi; which is, being interpreted, Damsel (I say unto you), arise.
24-29. How long was this woman sick? Could human skill, or medicine, help her? Of what Physician did she hear? By doing what, did she expect to be healed? Was she healed instantly? Did the cure take place without her knowledge? (See v. 29 -latter part).
30-34. Did not Jesus know who touched His clothes? Why then did He ask? Did she hesitate to make a confession? Did Jesus' look help her to overcome all shame and fear? What made her whole?
35. What sad news was brought?
42. And straightway the damsel arose, and walked, for she was of the age of twelve years. And they were astonished with a great astonishment
43. And he charged them strictly that no maa should know it: and commanded that something should be given her to eat.
Verses 21-23. Again in Capernaum. Synagogue-a place of worship. These three verses are directly related to v. 35, etc. 24-34. Sickness, the lot of mortals. Some diseases are incurable. Christ shows that He is an Almighty Physician. Hem of his garment (Luke 8: 44). The under garment fits close to the body; the upper was square and worn loose, somewhat like a shawl. It was the border of this one which she touched. Jesus knew, but he asked, just as your teacher asks you, to draw out a confession. Daughter -tenderness of address. 35-43. Hired mourners made an objectionable ado; this, Jesus silenced. Something to eat. The living need food; the new-born soul also needs spiritual food.
Ans. God will have His justice satisfied; and therefore we must make this satisfaction, either by ourselves or by another.
36. What did Jesus say to Jairus? 37. Who followed into the chamber of death?
38-39. How does Jesus regard display of grief, and noisy tumult, in the presence of death? What beautiful words does He speak? Is death, then, an evil or a good, to a child of God?
40. Why did He put out "the scorners?" 41-42. Čould He bring the dead to life? By what power?
43. Did Jesus seek notoriety, or secrecy? What does life need for its support? Does the new life also need the bread of heaven?