When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. Mark 5, verse 2.
Did you pick up on the nuance? The demon-possessed man went up to meet Jesus. Remember the context: Jesus and the disciples had sailed across the Sea of Galilee to the far (east) side, to ‘the land of the Gerasenes.’ There they come upon a graveyard where there lives a man who is out of his mind. He’s out of his mind because he’s demon-possessed. Not long from now, we’ll find out that there is more than just one spirit possessing the man. There are many, which identify themselves as “legion.” According to my pastor friend, Will Kemp (from this Sunday’s sermon, in fact), that means there could have been thousands of demons possessing this one tortured man. And they went to Jesus. More than that, they were drawn to Him, like flies to a picnic.
Sin makes us bold, you know. Or is it that the sin living in us, like the good, is attracted to Jesus anyway? Some of the most audacious times in my life were times that I was openly reveling in sin, acting in ways so bad that I’m embarrassed to confess – or remember – them. When we’re full of sin, we’re full of bravado, full of false confidence (and maybe false courage, if that poison is your particular pet). “Ten feet tall and bulletproof” is the term for a drunken fool who is too bold for his own good and too drunk to know it.
So it was with these demons. They knew Jesus was coming; they saw Him in the distance. The demons knew who Jesus was. The verse says that the man came out of the graveyard to meet Him. He couldn’t stay away; he couldn’t help himself. He was drawn to this man from the other side of the lake because the demons inhabiting his body knew Jesus was God. If demons are the cast-out fallen angels destined for hell, then they knew exactly who Jesus was because, from eternity, He had been the one to cast them out of heaven.
Now here they were, all together again, and there is a spectacle to be played out. We’ll talk more about it tomorrow. Before we part, however, let me ask you this: do you feel drawn to Jesus? I do.
Sometimes I feel that I need something so good to take the place of all the junk with which I’ve mucked up my life. I feel drawn to the forgiving white light of His presence because, in that light, I know He will forgive my failings, teach me better ways, heal my hurts, and give me the opportunity to be strong for Him once again. Yet I sometimes wonder if the sin that seems to rule me on this earth is not also drawn to Him as well. Sin can’t help itself; like the Apostle Paul said, it lives in him and rules to master him in a constant battle for his soul. I sometimes wonder if it’s not sin also being drawn to Jesus, knowing that He holds oblivion for sin in His words. Do you think evil craves for more evil – I do – and do you think it’s also possible that evil also may crave for relief? I think that’s possible as well.
Lord Jesus, I’m drawn to You. Reassure me once again of Your forgiveness for all my sins.
Read Mark 5, verses 1-20.