Real Fear—Part 2
Lord, You are the One who has power over all things. I praise You for Your might and strength.
Read Mark 5:1-20
 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.  This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.  For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.  Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.  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 God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”  For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil 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.  A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.  The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”  He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.  Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.  When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.  Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man-and told about the pigs as well.  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”  So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did this demon-possessed man see in Jesus?
This is another truly frightening story. Common myth would have it that Jesus was calm and serene at all times. We know it wasn’t the case in the Garden of Gethsemane. Why should it be different here? A highly dangerous man (4) was right in front of Jesus (6) and shouting at him at the top of his voice (7). How would you feel? A few minutes later, the force behind this man’s rage caused the violent death of 2,000 pigs. I would not have liked to be there.
The previous night, Jesus had overcome danger with his trust in God (4:35-41). On this occasion he did so with the power of his love. Quite simply, Jesus’ concern for the tortured man was greater than his sense of danger. I would have run back to the boat. Jesus stood his ground.
Feelings are complex things. They can be a great help, and also a great distraction. To do good does not always feel good, and yet our feelings are a part of the Godlike image in which we are made. Jesus faced fear and overcame it. There’s a lesson here for us.
If there is someone or something that you are afraid of, and need to face for the cause of faith and love, do it.
Lord, I pray to be able to follow Your example and never be afraid to do what is right and good.
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