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Text Sermons : J.R. Miller : June 26. Depart from Us

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"Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region." Mark 5:17

This is one of the saddest sentences in the Gospels. We can scarcely conceive of any person asking Jesus to go away. He had come to their coast to bring them rich blessings. His hands were full of golden gifts. He had power to heal the sick, to open blind eyes, to make the lame walk, to scatter all kinds of blessings among the people. He had begun His work of grace as soon as He landed, by curing their most terrible case of demon-possession. He would have gone on performing other works of mercy and love — if they had not besought Him to depart. It was probably all because of the loss of the swine. If that was the way Christ's work was going to affect them — they did not want Him to go any farther.

Some people feel the same way when a work of grace begins in their community. They are opposed to Christianity, because it interferes with their business. Rum-sellers and saloon-keepers oppose revivals, because when the devil is cast out of men — they stop drinking and card-playing, and so these men's business suffers; they are against Christianity — because Christianity is against them. So all of us are apt to want Christ to depart from us — when He interferes with our cherished plans. We need to be careful lest we send Christ altogether away from us.

For he did not stay after these people asked Him to go away. He would not stay — where He was not wanted. He carried back the gifts He had come there to leave. The sick remained unhealed, that He would have healed; an the lame continued lame, and the demoniacs remained possessed, and the dying whom He would have restored, passed away. Does anyone now ever ask Christ to depart, when He comes with blessings? Does Jesus never turn away from any heart now, because He is not wanted, because He is rejected?

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