10 Mar

In the story of Jesus setting a man free of thousands of demons (Mark 5 v 1-20) we see a man who is so troubled that he is beyond any human help. In verse 3 it says that no-one could hold him down and that he broke 'chains of iron' that were used to restrain him. This super-human strength was clearly a sign that this was a demonic problem and not just an illness of the mind. 

However when the man meets Jesus it is clear that Jesus is far more powerful than the demons. They beg Jesus and are terrified of Him. It is not an evenly matched encounter! Jesus has supreme power. He performs the exorcism and the demons go into the pigs and are gone.

In Mark 5 verse 15 we see this man who Jesus has set free (now sitting clothed and in his right mind). The villagers see this man who has become utterly normal and are gripped by fear. They fear Jesus and what He is able to do! Then, rather than rejoicing in the new found freedom of the man, they ask Jesus to leave them alone and to go away! How very strange!

These villagers could put up with having a man filled with evil living nearby, but they could not cope with having Jesus around. They don't love the evil, but given the chance they prefer to live with the evil rather than with Jesus. They find Jesus unsettling. They say to Him "please go away!"

This is a very sobering story. Jesus easily defeats evil - but some people prefer the evil they know. Some find Jesus too unsettling to allow Him into their lives. May we always welcome Jesus and not be like those villagers of long ago.  

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