Welcome to Grace!
for I am with you!
, for I am your God!
I you—
yes, I you—
yes, I uphold you
with my
Isaiah 41:10
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
Rev Caroline Symcox 15th July 2014 R4’s Today programme:
Anglican church’s decision to remove f...
Mark 3:13 – 6:6
• Beginning (3:13-35)
– Appointing of 12 Apostles (3:13-19)
– Opposition from the family (3:20-21)
– Oppos...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
So they came to the other side of the lake, to the region of the
G...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
– Entering the enemy’s enclave, v. 1
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
– Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1
– Encountering the Enemy’s im...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
– Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1
– Encountering the Enemy’s im...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
– Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1
– Encountering the Enemy’s im...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
– Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1
– Encountering the Enemy’s im...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
– Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1
– Encountering the Enemy’s im...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
When he saw Jesus from a distance...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
When he saw Jesus from a distance...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
Jesus asked him, “What is your na...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
• Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-2...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
• Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-2...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
• Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-2...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
• Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-2...
Mark 5:1-20
• Introduction
• Setting the scene, vv. 1-5
• Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13
• Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-2...
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Mark 5 vv 1 20

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  • The four parables in 4:1-34 taught (in the teeth of this opposition) that in spite of the opposition and the discouragements that run alongside fishing for men because you follow Jesus, the sown Word of God is powerful and effective.
    The four miracles that follow in 4:35-5:43 show the power of the Lord Himself Who speaks in His Word.
    These miracles show Jesus as powerful over the forces of chaos that riot through the Creation.
    It is a Creation that is NOT yet back under His authority. The authority accompanies the incoming Kingdom, which is the root of His message … remember Mark 1:15?
    “after John was imprisoned, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed the gospel of God. 15 He said, “The time is fulfilled and the kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the gospel!” It wasn’t in yet, He says, but He announced it was COMING, was ‘at hand’, so NOW was the time to acknowledge God’s rule over your life by repenting and trusting Christ and to express your following of Jesus by following Him.
    Then Jesus went on to explain what that ‘following’ thing meant, and demonstrated it involved following Him in becoming (like Him) a fisher of mankind. How do you operate as a fisher of men? You fish for mankind the way He did by preaching His Word, which receives a range of responses, but as the preceding parables have demonstrated you don’t stop because (despite appearances) it IS effective. It IS effective because it is HIS Word … the Word of the Kingdom is the Word of the King. And now these four miracles sit at THIS point in Mark’s Gospel to demonstrate that He really IS authoritative to speak, He really IS the King!
    Although there really is more to it than this, these four areas where Jesus is shown to be the authoritative King of all creation are areas where human beings feel their own weakness and inadequacy in a creation hostile to God and damaged by sin, and Jesus proves to be King of it all.
    Last time – mighty storms in ‘Nature’ – a part of nature that from ancient times in the ancient near east represented the cosmic chaos in Creation … as we saw last time.
    Here today in Mark 5 the cosmic chaos becomes far more explicit.
  • The first thing to notice here is where Jesus and His followers have come to.
    They have made the crossing of the Lake from the Jewish side and now find themselves in utterly different territory.
    It’s hard to know what time of day they get there, but they were crossing the lake in a storm at night, they are obviously going to be feeling pretty drained as it’s been quite … emotional? My best guess is that they turn up on the shore at this place fairly early in the next day and immediately walk into this situation.
    Their disembarkation point is identified in the text here as “the region of the Gerasenes”.
    The consensus seems to be that this is therefore somewhere in the region around the nodern town of Kersa. At the site of this town there is a level shore but no tombs.
    If you go about a mile south, though, there is a fairly steep slope 40 yards from the modern shore and about two miles from there cavern tombs have been found which appear to have been used for living in. This is NOT Israel. It is pagan territory. Children were dedicated to pagan deities, people practiced rituals and observances abhorrent to the Jews and the Gerasenes opened their lives to the influence of evil as a matter of course.
    There were always going to be consequences of such a lifestyle.
    The man who met Jesus clearly illustrates that.
  • Dangerous
    The unclean spirit brought the man from his ritually unclean dwelling place where he lived amongst the dead.
    He was unrestrainably violent.
    He was unutterably strong and due to his continuing to be ‘on the loose’ he was an ongoing danger and threat – not only to himself but to everyone else.
    Except Jesus.
    Distressing
    He lived in the tombs … not nice for him.
    He wandered the hills.
    He cut himself – but this is more than the usual in what we’ve come to call self-harming - and he cried out.
    It was odd.
    It was unnatural.
    It was a prospect of humanity degraded by its devotion to and by its capture by evil.
    Lane: “In the several features of the description the purpose of demonic possession to distort and destroy the divine likeness of man according to creation is made indelibly clear …. Ultimate responsibility for the wretchedness of the man and the brutal treatment he had endured rested with the demons who had taken possession of the centre of his personality.”
    Degraded
    Yes, everyone was fearful of this man … but it was because he was LESS of a man, not because his strength and violence made him MORE of one.
    He is described in the way that mad people were at the time.
    But his encounter with Jesus makes the spiritual, in fact the cosmic significance of his symptoms in this case absolutely crystal clear.
  • Dangerous
    The unclean spirit brought the man from his ritually unclean dwelling place where he lived amongst the dead.
    He was unrestrainably violent.
    He was unutterably strong and due to his continuing to be ‘on the loose’ he was an ongoing danger and threat – not only to himself but to everyone else.
    Except Jesus.
  • Distressing
    He lived in the tombs … not nice for him.
    He wandered the hills.
    He cut himself – but this is more than the usual in what we’ve come to call self-harming - and he cried out.
    It was odd.
    It was unnatural.
    It was a prospect of humanity degraded by its devotion to and by its capture by evil.
    Lane: “In the several features of the description the purpose of demonic possession to distort and destroy the divine likeness of man according to creation is made indelibly clear …. Ultimate responsibility for the wretchedness of the man and the brutal treatment he had endured rested with the demons who had taken possession of the centre of his personality.”
  • Degrading
    Yes, everyone was fearful of this man … but it was because he was LESS of a man, not because his strength and violence made him MORE of one.
    He is described in the way that mad people were at the time.
    But his encounter with Jesus makes the spiritual, in fact the cosmic significance of his symptoms in this case absolutely crystal clear.
  • Destructive
    The abiding impression of this man as Jesus finds him is that this man has not only lost his God-given autonomy as one made to be in the image of God, but that he is under the control of powerful forces bent on his destruction.
    The business of the Enemy of Souls is not social work.
    No doubt there are those who would want to say that the man was entitled to chose his own lifestyle and we must have an inclusive society and … all sorts of things of that nature. In fact that’s just permissive of the devil doing his life’s work of destruction.
    We don’t know what he’d done to expose himself to these destructive influences, but ultimate responsibility for the misery of this man lay with the destructive inclinations of the hosts of hell.
    People in that situation can’t always make the choices they would want to, and (as with this man) are not expressing their own interest or personal wishes at ALL.
  • The movement of the story has been interrupted a bit for Mark to fill in the background for us on this man … no doubt he was a bit of a legend in the land of the Gerasenes but WE need it all unpacked and explained for us.
    Now the narrative begins again …
    (READ)
    The man sees Jesus from a distance, runs up to Jesus (who does NOT do what anyone else would have done which would be to get back in the boat and clear off pretty sharpish) and then falls at Jesus’s feet.
    That’s a new one! Everyone was petrified of this wild, blood stained, tomb dwelling character. Jesus stood His ground as the man approached. We are not told how the disciples felt about this … although trying to imagine the situation might be instructive for us … The appearance, the threatening, advancing presence of the Enemy of souls and the hounds of hell is often all it takes to get most of us back onto the boat and standing out away from the shore! To do THAT would be to miss everything else that happens subsequently in the story. We have every Biblical warrant to flee temptation. We have NO Biblical warrant to flee the threatening, the SCARY advance of the enemies of God.
    Sensing the identity of a lethal opponent, the unclean spirits take over the man’s voice in a vain, desperate attempt to defend themselves. They know ALL TOO WELL Who Jesus actually is.
    His family don’t. The religious leaders don’t. Even His own disciples still only grasp Jesus’s identity PARTIALLY … at least until chapter 8.
    But the forces of darkness are absolutely clear about Who Jesus is, about the extent of His authority and the purpose of His mission on earth. This is fire on their skin.
    What the demons can’t abide is the loving kindness, is the grace of God the Father wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
    The establishment of the Kingdom of God is DIRECTLY a matter of the disestablishment of the Kingdom of Darkness. That’s what Mark told us right back at the beginning that the message of Jesus was all about.
    The demons inhabiting this man have nowhere to run away … so they run TOWARDS the King over the incoming Kingdom of God and make pathetic pleas for mercy …
  • Sensing the identity of a lethal opponent, the unclean spirits take over the man’s voice in a vain, desperate attempt to defend themselves. They know ALL TOO WELL Who Jesus actually is.
    His family don’t. The religious leaders don’t. Even His own disciples still only grasp Jesus’s identity PARTIALLY.
    What the demons can’t abide is the loving kindness, is the grace of God the Father wrapped up in the person of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
    For them, it is the end.
    He names Jesus … and does so very accurately.
    You get the same on an earlier occasion in chapter 1.
    In the ancient world, naming someone was believed to give power over them.
    Jesus simply isn’t bound that way … the attempt was worthless.
    But it does reveal that although many theologians and so called church men feel free to cast doubt on the divinity of Jesus, even the demons know better than that.
    His authority to judge them is not something these demons doubt either as they plead that they should not be cast into torment.
    (Looks like they believe in hell, too, then … doesn’t it?!)
  • Now it is Jesus’s turn to do the ‘name’ thing.
    ‘Legion’ is an answer that quite a lot of commentaries argue about, but really what it’s about is what we are TOLD its about ….
    “My name is Legion, for we are many.”
    The demons are obviously in craven fear now of Jesus.
    What are they concerned about?
    This is interesting … v. 10 “He begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of the region …”
    μὴ αὐτὰ ἀποστείλῃ ἔξω τῆς χώρας. χηορα
    the space lying between two places or limits 2) a region or country i.e. a tract of land 2a) the (rural) region surrounding a city or village, the country 2b) the region with towns and villages which surround a metropolis 3) land which is ploughed or cultivated, ground  NET Bible note says: “feminine of a derivative of the base of through the idea of empty expanse; room, i.e. a space of territory”
    Now, that’s kind of interesting in the light of what Jesus says in Luke 11:24 which is very similar to Matthew 12 on the same matter: “‘When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it.
    Then it says, “I will return to the house I left.”
    So what is legion asking for?
    Is it possible that legion is asking that the exorcism should drive them out to wander and return either to this man or someone else rather than be consigned directly to everlasting torment?
    Thus may well put a very different light on the pig incident.
    Jesus casts this legion out of the man and allows them into a herd of pigs.
    The destructiveness of the demons is immediately seen in that the pigs rush down a steep bank and are destroyed in the lake … BUT … There was a superstitious idea going the rounds that demons consigned to the deep were destroyed. I don’t know. It’s just a thought. Certainly a lot of pigs died and the twentieth and twenty first centuries spend more time worrying about the death of these slaughter pigs than they do about the miraculous liberation of a deeply demonised and tortured soul from the pagan land of the Decapolis, and the astonishing evidence this represents that the Kingdom of God is truly coming in.
    I really don’t know what this says about the large quantity of unclean beasts killed by the unclean spirits. I do know that the One Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills owns the two thousand pigs on the Gerasene hill and that (whilst He does not destroy the pigs) He does allow the legion the use of them, and the destruction of them.
    There is a strong suggestion that THIS many pigs could only be supplying the Roman legions in Palestine … with all the implications of that as to the significance of this event … but really this all remains to be seen. The story itself seems simply to be emphasising the authority of Jesus, the destructiveness towards their hosts of the forces of darkness and the clear indication that Jesus’s message is for real and the Kingdom of God drives out the Kingdom of darkness … and it’s coming in before our very eyes.
    If we have animal welfare concerns with that then –I’ve been in abattoirs that handle more pigs than that in a day - and our 21st century problems with this story are something we’ll have to sort out for ourselves because the Biblical account simply doesn’t address that issue – any more than it addresses the issue of 2,000 pig a day slaughterhouses.
    Animal WELFARE is certainly not the concern of the people of that region …
  • There are three sets of people here making different responses to the redeeming power of Jesus.
  • The herdsmen were apparently tending these pigs when the evil spirits came into them and drove them off the cliff.
    Here’s their response:
    “Now the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside”
    Two things:
    They ran off
    They spread the news all OVER the place: Jesus cast the demons out of the man, they entered the pigs and the pigs jumped off a cliff to their destruction
    They saw the mighty works of God and just got scared … but in their scaredom they told everyone what had happened.
    None of their knowledge is going to save them.
    They are primarily scared of the power of Jesus, they are secondarily talking the shock out of their system, but they have not THEMSELVES turned from sin to the Saviour and been redeemed.
    It is painfully easy to be scared by the reality of Christ and His Kingdom, even to talk the stress of His authority out of your system but NOT to be repentant and saved.
  • The townspeople heard from the frightened herdsmen and were curious.
    Frightened by the redeeming power of God and you run.
    Curious about it and you do the opposite …
    “… the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind—the one who had the “Legion”—and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their region.”
    The people heard the startled accounts of the frightened herdsmen and were curious to see what had happened.
    They weren’t scared of the demons in the pigs, though.
    This group were terrified when they “… saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind—the one who had the “Legion”—and they were afraid. They saw the evidence of the change in the man, and were afraid.
    It is not the mere reality of spiritual things that rattles these people.
    It is the reality of Christ’s redemption and restoration of unlikely characters.
    And it was THAT which set them begging Jesus to leave their region – the sheer reality of a life radically changed by God was fire on their skin, and they wanted no more to do with Jesus.
  • But then there was the reaction of the redeemed man himself.
    He uses a formula to request to be a disciple of Jesus … pre-rabbinic discipleship involved living in a very close living relationship with the rabbi … you were with him and you observed him and THAT’s the way rabbinical students REALLY learned their stuff!

    Jesus refuses but has another plan …
    “ … Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” 20 So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and all were amazed.”
    The townspeople feel threatened by the reality of Jesus and ask the Lord to go away.
  • Don’t ever be afraid of the Enemy of souls because if we are in Christ we are in He Who is the Victor over sin and death and hell.
    The important thing is to be and to stay IN HIM!
    It’s being on the other side that loses you essential elements in your humanity and leads you into the grip of the destroyer of souls.
    These aren’t small matters.
    Don’t be surprised either when the appearance of God the Son flushes the enemy of souls from his hide-outs.
    What the demons can’t abide is the loving kindness, is the grace of God the Father and the Gospel of the Kingdom of God – and they HAVE then to pop up their hidden heads.
    Don’t be surprised at the enormous POWER of Jesus to change unbelievable lives
  • Mark 5 vv 1 20

    1. 1. Welcome to Grace! for I am with you! , for I am your God! I you— yes, I you— yes, I uphold you with my Isaiah 41:10
    2. 2. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction Rev Caroline Symcox 15th July 2014 R4’s Today programme: Anglican church’s decision to remove from their christening service its references to the devil are positive because many people now don’t take the image of the devil seriously. (And today we look at Mark 5 …) #awkward
    3. 3. Mark 3:13 – 6:6 • Beginning (3:13-35) – Appointing of 12 Apostles (3:13-19) – Opposition from the family (3:20-21) – Opposition from religious leaders (3:22-30) – Opposition from family again (3:31-35) • Middle (4:1-5:43) – Parable: The Sower (4:1-20) – Parable: The Lamp (4:21-25) – Parable: The seed growing secretly (4:26-29) – Parable: The mustard seed (4:30-34) – Miracle: Stilling the storm (4:35-41) – Miracle: Driving out Legion (5:1-20) – Miracle: Healing of sick woman (5:25-34) – Miracle: Raising Jairus’s daughter (5:21-43) • End (6:1-6) – Opposition from family and friends (6:1-6)
    4. 4. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 So they came to the other side of the lake, to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 Just as Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came from the tombs and met him. 3 He lived among the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For his hands and feet had often been bound with chains and shackles, but he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
    5. 5. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 – Entering the enemy’s enclave, v. 1
    6. 6. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 – Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1 – Encountering the Enemy’s impact, vv. 2-10 “Just as Jesus was getting out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came from the tombs and met him. 3 He lived among the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For his hands and feet had often been bound with chains and shackles, but he had torn the chains apart and broken the shackles in pieces. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Each night and every day among the tombs and in the mountains, he would cry out and cut himself with stones.”
    7. 7. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 – Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1 – Encountering the Enemy’s impact, vv. 2-10 • Dangerous
    8. 8. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 – Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1 – Encountering the Enemy’s impact, vv. 2-10 • Dangerous • Distressing
    9. 9. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 – Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1 – Encountering the Enemy’s impact, vv. 2-10 • Dangerous • Distressing • Degrading
    10. 10. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 – Entering the Enemy’s enclave, v. 1 – Encountering the Enemy’s impact, vv. 2-10 • Dangerous • Distressing • Degrading • Destructive
    11. 11. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him. 7 Then he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God—do not torment me!” 8 (For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”)9 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 He begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 11 There on the hillside, a great herd of pigs was feeding. 12 And the demonic spirits begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” 13 Jesus gave them permission. So the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake, and about two thousand were drowned in the lake.
    12. 12. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him. 7 Then he cried out with a loud voice, “Leave me alone, Jesus, Son of the Most High God! I implore you by God—do not torment me!” 8 (For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of that man, you unclean spirit!”)9
    13. 13. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 He begged Jesus repeatedly not to send them out of the region. 11 There on the hillside, a great herd of pigs was feeding. 12 And the demonic spirits begged him, “Send us into the pigs. Let us enter them.” 13 Jesus gave them permission. So the unclean spirits came out and went into the pigs. Then the herd rushed down the steep slope into the lake, and about two thousand were drowned in the lake.
    14. 14. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 • Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-20 Now the herdsmen ran off and spread the news in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man sitting there, clothed and in his right mind—the one who had the “Legion”—and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen what had happened to the demon-possessed man reported it, and they also told about the pigs. 17 Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon-possessed asked if he could go with him. 19 But Jesus did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” 20 So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and all were amazed.
    15. 15. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 • Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-20 – Herdsmen
    16. 16. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 • Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-20 – Herdsmen – Towns people
    17. 17. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 • Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-20 – Herdsmen – Towns people – The man “As he was getting into the boat the man who had been demon- possessed asked if he could go with him. 19 But Jesus did not permit him to do so. Instead, he said to him, “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you.” 20 So he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis what Jesus had done for him, and all were amazed.”
    18. 18. Mark 5:1-20 • Introduction • Setting the scene, vv. 1-5 • Encounters with evil, vv. 6-13 • Rattled by redemption, vv. 14-20 • Conclusion – Don’t ever be afraid of the Enemy of souls – Don’t be surprised either when the appearance of God the Son flushes the enemy of souls from his hide- outs – Don’t be surprised at the enormous POWER of Jesus to change unbelievable lives – Because the Kingdom of God REALLY IS coming in!

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