Vol. 2, No. 34 – 8-20-2017
And when He had come out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him. Mark 5:2
When you step into your intended destination, what do you expect to see; expect to encounter? Life brings surprises and one must be prepared for the surprises that come. Jesus comes face-to-face with not just someone acting crazy, but a demoniac.
When I taught on world religions, the cults, and the occult, I spent some time dealing with demonology. Some people think that you can just prescribe pills and all this will go away. However, the Scriptures describe this man as totally possessed, chained mentally and physically, speaking as a person possessed with evil, self-abusing, and relegated to the graveyard. He also had tremendous strength.
Demonology brings occult worship to its worst levels. Included in this horrendous life are the general areas of:
- Satan worship
- Wiccan and witchcraft
- New Age and many other cults
- Astrology, fortune telling, and palm reading
- Human trafficking and slavery
- Drug addiction (prescription, illicit, and alcohol)
- Unbiblical practices and beliefs; perversions of truth
He had superhuman strength, and there were only savage attempts to tame him by force, as if he were a beast. Fetters and manacles had been snapped like ribbons by him. Restless, sleepless, hating men, he had made the night hideous with his wild shrieks. Insensible to pain, and deriving some dreadful satisfaction from his own wounds, he had gashed himself with splinters of rock, and howled, in a delirium of pain and pleasure, at the sight of his own blood. —Alexander Maclaren
I have thought about Maclaren’s remark when counseling young people (most often female) on the impact of their cutting habits. You never have habits; habits have you.
The possessed man saw Jesus from a distance and quickly ran toward him—naked, bleeding, half-shackled—falling at the feet of the Son of God. Jesus asks his name. He replies, “Legion; there are thousands of us.” He beseeched Jesus to send them away.
A great herd of hogs was on the hillside; the demons implored Jesus to send them into the hogs instead of doing away with them; exiling them to the locked arena of damnation. Then the herd, infested with demons, stampeded down the hillside and off the cliff into the water below. All drowned. The owners of the hogs, surprisingly Jewish, were livid. They were making a living from animals they would not even eat. They were more interested in income than being interested in the care of the man who needed restored. Their losses sparked them to demand Jesus leave.
Jesus came and immediately helped the demoniac be restored; He, Jesus, leaves as He does not remain where He is not wanted. Jesus had the ability to bring peace to the demoniac. He teaches those who would minister to others, regardless of the venue, to remain focused on those who desire the restored life.
God reaches into the heart of those He chooses to aid others; to reach out with His purpose. With every act a believer is to intentionally bring others to know Christ. The wild people of the earth need and desire restoration; healing is available from God. God knows exactly what the unregenerate need for life and He chooses us to be His messenger of hope and reconciliation.
God calls each of us to the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17f). He does not have us to form an evangelizing committee, hire an outreach minister, select certain of the believers to do this work; He chooses every believer to do this work.
We do live in a world of great turmoil and demoniac influenced people. When we get off our “rusty dusties,” get out of our boats, we may face a youngster who is influenced through illicit drug use, a person that cuts themselves to relieve the emotional pain steeped inside, a person angry at their parents or the school they must attend, a person that thinks the world owes them a living. What are you going to say to that person? Will you simply respond with surprise at their condition?
Or will you be prepared for the person crossing your path—no one crosses our path by accident. Life for the believer, including those serving as leaders, is not tranquil.
Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 11-13
Who or what are you facing at this very moment?