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Mark 059 - From the Tombs



They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.


Mark 5:1,2[1]


Everyone’s from somewhere. All four of my grandparents immigrated alone from Poland and Italy as teenagers. They settled in Baltimore where they met, married, raised families. My parents met at a Valentines Day dance in 1946 and were married that same June. They also settled in Baltimore where they raised a family. My dad worked for Otis Elevator his entire career while mom worked in the home. My brother Don also married, worked, and raised a family in Baltimore.


And then there’s me. Starting out in Baltimore, Mary Ann and I have lived in Wilmington, DE, Danbury, CT, Scottsdale, AZ and Lake Wales, FL. I’ve worked for 11 different companies before starting two companies of my own. You guessed it, I’m the black sheep of the family.


Yes, everyone’s from somewhere. And Jesus meets a guy from the tombs. That’s right, he lived in a graveyard. But not the lush, clean, well-manicured, green graveyards we’re used to seeing on TV. No, this was out in the middle of nowhere. No one took care of it. There was no lawn service with mowers, WEEDWACKERS®[2], or high-speed blowers. It was just the opposite of today’s graveyards, people stayed away from them. Dead bodies, bones, and anything touching them would make you unclean. And then you’d have to separate yourself, clean yourself up before you’d be allowed back into your house, with your family, your friends.


Not only was this guy from an unclean, impure place, he had an impure spirit in him. He was doubly dirty. Inside and out, he was someone to be avoided at all costs. His outside was dirty. And his inside spiritual life was soiled by an outside, filthy spirit.


This guy’s behavior would’ve not only made him odd, but it also made him dangerous. People were rightly afraid of him. What he might say. What he might do. I’m sure that they pushed him away while the impure spirit drove him away, finally coming to the tombs where he was alone.


When he came to the tombs, he settled down. It became his home. There were caves where he could get away from the weather, but he couldn’t get away from the dead. They were all around. I can only imagine what that does to a person. Living, if you could call it that, day in, day out, surrounded by only the dead.


And living in a neighborhood where your only neighbors are dead, you’re not going to have a lot of neighborly conversations over the backyard fence. You’re not going to run into many people on the corner and be invited in for coffee. You’re going to be desperately alone with your thoughts that have been invaded by an unclean spirit. This was his somewhere. And there was no hope of it changing, ever.


Yes, everyone is from somewhere, everyone belongs somewhere. You may have stayed right where you were born. You may have traveled all over the place. It doesn’t matter, you belong somewhere.


I have friends that have lived in the same area all their lives. I know people that have gone to the same church since birth. I know people that got their first job out from school and stayed there for their entire work career. And then I know people like us that moved all around the world as kids and adults. It doesn’t matter.


No matter where you’re from, you belong somewhere.


You might lose your job. Lose your family. Lose everything you hold dear. Your world might be turned upside down, inside out. You found out that the things and people that meant the most to you have betrayed you, leaving you all alone in a world that doesn’t seem to care about you.


But better than belonging somewhere, as good as that is, there’s something more important. There’s something that’s more settling. Something that puts down deep roots that cannot be moved. Something, no matter what the world tells you, that you can fall back on. Something that reminds you that you’re a person of worth. A person of value. That you are loved.


The shocking truth is that it's not a something, but a someone. Things change, and even people change. But there’s someone who never changes, and he never changes his mind about loving you.


Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.


Hebrews 13:8


Everyone and everything here on planet earth is destined to change. You can’t stop it. Sometimes you might be able to slow it down. But that’s it.


If you’re looking for someone that will never fail you, never leave you, never run away from you. Then Jesus is you answer. He’s your only answer. He alone is the same from eternity past. The one who’s unfailing love took him to the cross for you.


And even in death, he will not leave you in your tomb.

[1] Unless otherwise noted, all Bible references are from the New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. [2] WEEDWACKER® Trademark of STANLEY BLACK & DECKER, Filed June 1, 1978

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