• The Bald Believer

Do You Really Understand Those Lyrics?




Mark 5:10–20

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, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.


What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

Don't you love those words?

Do you understand them? I mean, do you really understand them?


I remember singing this hymn as a boy before the words had meaning in my own heart. Now, I sing those lyrics differently because I truly understand them. I have personally experienced the change this hymn celebrates in myself and in others.

I preached the funeral of a man that was life changing for me. His name had been mentioned often, usually with disdain. I had heard a lot about his hate. Our small congregation had prayed for this fella too many times to count. I have an uncle that is very persistent, and for years he kept witnessing and inviting the man to church. The gentleman’s response was far less than welcoming. One day a whisper came through the assembly that this guy for whom we had been praying had actually come to church. He didn’t respond to the preaching that Sunday or even to an invitation.

He came forward, knelt beside the communion table and received Christ as his Savior during the song service, no invitation needed!

Ha, I guess we preachers aren’t as essential as we think.

He became a faithful, attending member of the church until he passed away just a few months later. At his funeral I cannot count the people who told me about the change Jesus had made in that man.


I reckon he understood the words to that hymn too, don’t you?


According to those that knew him, Jesus had made a change so great, a difference so noticeable that they couldn’t stop talking about it.


In our reading we find a man that could also understand the lyrics to the hymn.

Jesus had been confronted by a demon possessed man. This poor guy was so controlled by evil spirits that he spent all his time naked and living in tombs. Some in the city had tried to curb his crazy the only way they knew how, they tried to bind him. He must have had enormous amounts of strength because he was able to break those chains and go back to his old life every time.


I have known many like this man who can’t be tamed. Jail doesn’t work on them. Rehab doesn’t do the trick. Therapy seems to make it worse. At some point most just throw in the towel and surrender all attempts to help and let them just live the rest of their lives among the dead. Jesus didn’t throw in the towel, he threw out the demons!

Jesus didn’t throw in the towel, he threw out the demons!

In verse 15 we see the change Jesus can make to a once hopeless life.

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.

The one who had been violent, naked and dwelling in the tombs was now clothed, in his right mind and sitting at the feet of Jesus. At the end of our reading everyone in his area is amazed and talking about this changed life.

I am still amazed at how he can change people aren’t you? I have seen drunks become sober, drug addicts made clean, criminals become honest and mean men become meek.

Yes, Jesus still does that!

I hear a lot of talk about acceptance, but I am thankful Jesus doesn’t just accept us in our bad condition but loves us enough to change our lives for the better. He wants you to be able to sing those lyrics and truly comprehend what you sing. Jesus changed my life, he changed the man whose funeral I preached that day and he can change that loved one that has been insisting on living among the dead. He can change yours too. Let’s determine to keep believing so we can keep seeing his transforming power.


Now sing it with me from a changed heart that understands.

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
Since Jesus came into my heart!
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

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