Facing Demons

Mark 5:18-19

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 own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

The story in Mark 5:1-20 where Jesus faced a demon-possessed man and restored him seems like a story that would strike fear in the hearts of the hearers – until they heard the happy ending. Of course, the local people of the day were unhappy to have lost their pigs. I think they had to look at the bright side of the situation and remember that they were no longer plagued with fear when traveling through that area. Since Jesus let demons run the pigs off the cliff, the pigs’ owners were sad at the loss of money, but money isn’t everything. It was as true then as it is today.

When I read some of the Bible stories, I think about what it would’ve been like to experience that event as one of the disciples of Jesus. If I had been standing there with the disciples, my knees might have been knocking.

Jesus was always facing challenges to his authority. People gave him trouble wherever he went. But this man with the legion of demons ran to Jesus and fell to his knees. The demons asked Jesus not to torture them and not to send them out of the area. The demons were scared.

We need to remember who Jesus is. The demons hadn’t forgotten, and neither should we. Jesus has control over what we think are uncontrollable situations. When we face uncertainty, Jesus is certain. When our hearts are racing, Jesus is calm. If we can remember who Jesus is and that he is with us, then we’ll find that Jesus will take the scary out of our situation.

I love stories that have happy endings, even scary stories. The happy ending in this one is when the man went home to his family and told them how Jesus gave him back his life.

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