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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

On Your Mark by Dr. George O. Wood


A Mother's Desperate Plea

Jesus left that place and went to the vicinity of Tyre. He entered a house and did not want anyone to know it; yet he could not keep his presence secret. In fact, as soon as she heard about him, a woman whose little daughter was possessed by an evil spirit came and fell at his feet. The woman was a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia. She begged Jesus to drive the demon out of her daughter. (Mark 7:24-26, NIV)

Have you ever been so busy night and day that you just wished you could get away from it all for a few days?

That sentiment does not belong to you alone! Even Jesus knew the value of a retreat. He’d been constantly traveling, teaching, healing — everywhere He went people thronged Him. Not only that, the opposition to Him had intensified (7:1-23). He desired a break from the grueling schedule.

He heads north, outside the boundaries of Israel, to the area we know as southwest Lebanon. For the second time in Mark’s Gospel, He’s in Gentile territory. On the last occasion, He delivered the Gerasene demoniac (5:1-20). This time, He’s again dealing with a demon. More about that in a moment.

Jesus enters a private house, desiring that no one would know His whereabouts. It’s the seventh time in Mark that we see Him in a home. On three of the prior six occasions, wonderful miracles had taken place: the healing of Peter’s mother-in-law (1:29-31), a paralytic transformed (2:1-12), and a 12-year-old girl raised from the dead (5:37-43).

When Jesus is in the house, however, His presence cannot be kept secret. When He resides in your home, in your life, others will soon know it. The word will get out!

A desperate mother finds Him and falls at His feet begging.

Can you picture her? Face down to the ground, tears falling down around Jesus’ feet, sobbing out her story, describing the symptoms in her daughter. She says nothing about her husband — perhaps, like so many in this world, she is raising a child as a single parent.

Somewhere and somehow this child had been exposed to an evil spirit. Perhaps it was in a pagan temple or contact with someone in the occult. Why did the demon seek the child rather than residence in the mother? We simply don’t know — there’s so much about the spirit world we do not understand.

Are demons loose in the world today? Just read the daily newspaper, and you will see evidence of demonic activity in the senseless and savage acts perpetrated against the innocent. How else can you explain the horrendous evil of sexual violation against children, rampant violence, senseless shootings, and a host of almost unimaginable atrocities? Evil is not impersonal. It has a source. The devil has come to rob, destroy and kill.

Sometimes the devil works through humans with a depraved heart; on other occasions, an actual evil spirit inhabits the body of a man, woman, boy or girl.

That’s the case here. But this mother is a lot like Jairus (5:22-24). Both parents refused to accept their daughters’ dilemmas as hopeless. They had faith that Jesus had power over death and demons. Although she is not Jewish, she trusts that Jesus will nevertheless help her.

A prayer of response
Lord Jesus, when I have done everything I can humanly do, I have one resort. I can come to You. If You don’t help, then I am done for. Help me to have the large-sized faith of this mother who didn’t let Your desire for solitude keep her from intruding with her need.

GEORGE O. WOOD is general superintendent of the Assemblies of God.


On Your Mark

Previous Years

2013 On Your Mark

2012 On Your Mark

2011 On Your Mark

2010 On Your Mark

2009 On Your Mark

2008 On Your Mark

Podcasts of On Your Mark are available in video and audio.
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