Terror In the Tombs
Mighty God, Your presence, Your purposes, Your power are always with me. I praise You for Your blessings to me.
Read MARK 5:1-20
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.
“God is love, and all who live in love live in God … Such love has no fear because perfect love expels all fear” (1 John 4:16,18 NLT).
What unimaginable horror! Cast out by family and neighbors, this despairing “victim of demonic malevolence” is forced to seek shelter among the dead. Living without the comfort of human embrace, he is separated from his former community by walls of fear, ignorance, hostility and alienation. He is utterly alone except for a host of demons whose only intentions were evil. His ceaseless roaming and tormented howling, day and night, bore testimony to their cruelty. Tortured beyond the limits of sanity, his bondage was complete.
What amazing liberation! He who once appeared to be God-forsaken was now God-transformed—the first non-Jew to experience the liberating power of Jesus. Finally, after who knows how many years of incomprehensible pain and captivity, his suffering was over. “Freed now, the man could be still … His uncontrollable restlessness gave way to repose, his delirium to deliberation, his madness to meditation. This is what freedom in Christ does to people” (Evelyn Miranda-Feliciano). The restored man, long denied the warmth of human fellowship, was eager to join Jesus’ small band of companions. Jesus had other plans.
He instructed the former demoniac to return to his family and old neighborhood, and tell them what had happened. So he did, and more. He shared his experience in the ten townships that made up the region of Decapolis, and the people were amazed. These townships were centers of Greek and Roman culture, i.e. they were not Jewish. Jesus’ intention was clear: the good news of liberation was for everyone, not just the Jews. His recruitment of a Samaritan evangelist further demonstrated this passion, despite the agitation it caused his disciples (John 4:27-42). Previously stigmatized, now she joyfully and effectively shared her experience of Jesus.
Are there any in your church’s neighborhood you may be tempted to think are beyond the reach of the gospel? Name them in prayer, and ask God to touch them.
Lord, I want to model to others the difference You make in my life. May I clearly demonstrate that You don’t give fear, but power and a stable mind.
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