40 Days in Mark’s Gospel – Day 11t

Mark 5:15  “The townspeople came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed, sitting down, clothed, and in his right mind, the very man who had had the ‘legion’; and they became frightened.”

It’s one of the great texts in the Gospels. A wild man, who had been living among the tombs, gashing himself with rocks, broken chains hanging from his wrists, running around
Gadarene Demoniacnaked, acting violently, possessed by an army of demons, and terrifying anyone who came near him, encounters Jesus. And before it is all over, he’s “sitting down, clothed, and in his right mind.”

I love the picture of healing and restoration. Someone that everyone had given up on, is not beyond the redeeming and delivering reach of Christ.

The Gerasene demoniac reflects many of us; isolated, cut off from his community, overwhelmed by spiritual forces  beyond himself. How long had he been that way? We don’t know. We do know that he could not deliver himself, that his bondage broke every significant relationship he had, and that nobody could help him — until Jesus.

Many Christians have an under-developed understanding of the spiritual realm. Long ago, perhaps with the Enlightenment, we started to see the world in purely mechanistic and scientific terms. We struggle to believe that demons roam the world — roam our part of the world — looking for pathways and gateways to enter our lives. We tend to rely most heavily on science or psychology to explain deviant behavior. It’s all genetic or conditioning.

But every now and then, the darkness looks so thick, the powers look so strong, and the conditions look so hopeless that we realize neither science nor psychology can really explain or restore our loved ones. In such moments, look again beyond the shore. Christ comes. And for those willing to trust Him, He makes it possible again for the oppressed and the afflicted to once more sit down; “clothed, and in their right minds.”

Take a moment and pray today for those in the grip of Satan. Be specific. A family member? A colleague? A friend? If their life seems lived among the tombs, pray that He who has conquered the grave might shine the Light of God into their darkness.

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