When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High GoGod? In d’s name don’t torture me!” For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. Mark 5, verses 6-10.
The demons knew who Jesus was; we talked about that yesterday. If demons knew who Jesus was, then so do Nazis, ISIS terrorists, KKK racists, the LRA in Sudan, atheists in college towns, and any other kind of petty or large evil person…even you and me. Jesus is self-evident even to those who deny it and want to replace Him with themselves or some other shoddy image.
What’s more: those same demons acknowledged Jesus as God. True, there’s a fine line between this statement and the one in the last paragraph, but isn’t it also true to say that there’s a difference between knowing who Jesus is and publicly acknowledging the fact? The demons in the man cried out through him that they not only knew Jesus but acknowledged Him as God. Thoughts became words and actions.
Still, many kinds of demons meant that the man endured many kinds of torture. I have only known a few truly schizophrenic people but those I’ve known are the closest thing I can imagine to being demon-possessed. The voices in the man were indeed real and they tortured his thoughts, his actions, his dreams, his every emotion and movement. Can you imagine living like that? It’s not even a life, really. It’s more like simply existing.
So what did Jesus do about it? Jesus commanded the demons to stop and they did. The demon (the representative of the ‘legion’ which might have been one or thousands) was told to come out of the man and it did. It couldn’t resist the simple command of the simple Man from Galilee.
Now comes the big question: so what? To some, this is a nice story about how Jesus did a kind thing for a stranger. So what?
Well, for starters, you can either accept that line of reasoning or accept that the story is true. It either happened or it didn’t. And if it didn’t happen, then, yes, it’s just a nice story. But then that’s all you’ve got.
…Or, you can accept that it really happened. That the story is an account of something that really happened a very long time ago. That there really was a man living in a cemetery. That He really was tortured by imps of hell. That there really was a man named Jesus who really did command the demons to come out of the man, and that they did. And if all that is true, then whatever else is said about Jesus must also be true; you can’t simply cherry pick the Bible. And if the rest of His life is true as well, then it’s also true that what He did for the stranger in the land of the Gerasenes He can do for you or me today. Now that is a good thought for the day.
Lord, I believe all that is said in Scripture concerning You. Thank You for what You did for the man living among the tombs.
Read Mark 5, verses 1-20.