2021_05_12 Insight Post- Rusty Coram
This week's reading- Mark 5-6
I love the story of the man Jesus rescues in Mark 5:1-20. This is a remarkable story of a man who had long been tormented and controlled by demonic spirits. We don’t know how this happened to him, but we do know that evil spirits exist, and that we can open ourselves up to their influence by making sinful choices. This man was under the influence of many evil spirits, and the result was that he was more like an animal than a human. The townspeople tried to control him to no avail and he was relegated to living alone in the tombs outside of the village.
When the man saw Jesus, he rushed to Him, and as soon as the evil spirits recognized Jesus, they were afraid. It’s interesting that evil spirits recognized Jesus as God, when so many humans often missed it. Knowing that He had complete power over them, the demons begged to be transferred into a huge herd of pigs nearby. Jesus accommodated their request, and immediately the herd of pigs stampeded over a cliff to their death.
There is a lot we don’t know about this story like: What caused the man to be so demonized? Why did Jesus agree to the demons’ request?
Here is what we do know: Jesus loved this poor man and rescued him from the torment and domination of the evil spirits leaving him whole and healed. It’s sad that the only concern coming from the locals was regarding the loss of the pigs... but this man was much more important to Jesus. Speaking of the pigs, we don’t know why they were sacrificed, but because we know God, we can be certain it was not in vain. Maybe it took a huge display like that to prove to everyone that the man had been truly delivered. Maybe this was God’s judgement and wake up call to a community that devalued a troubled and needy man. Maybe it was to underscore what had been done, so that as the man told his story of God delivering him, people would see the power of God.
Here is how the episode closes... The delivered man asks to go with Jesus but is told to stay at home instead:
“ So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.” Mark 5:15–20 (NLT)
I love this story.