Monday, January 29, 2018
Fourth Week in Ordinary Time
As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Mark 5:15
This short passage comes after a very dramatic story. A young man, who lives out among the tombs, is fully possessed by many demons. The demons identify themselves as “Legion” stating that there are many of them. It’s clear from the story that this man is wild, out of his mind, and fully under the control of these demons.
As the story goes on, Jesus addresses the demons, rebukes them, and casts them out, sending them into a herd of swine. The swine go running down a slope and drown in the lake. Afterwards, the man is totally transformed as he sits there conversing with others.
One interesting thing to note in this story is that, when the townspeople came out and saw this man sitting there “in his right mind,” they are shocked and are “seized with fear.” They do not know what to think about this situation. Why is that?
Perhaps there are a number of reasons. Let’s look at one of them. This young man was so dysfunctional, being possessed by a legion of demons, that the townspeople had written him off. They gave up on him and most likely wanted nothing to do with him. They were afraid of him. But when they see this man completely transformed, sitting there looking normal and rational, the people don’t know what to think. They are shocked. And their shock takes on a form of fear in that they are afraid of what they do not understand.
This reveals something interesting to us. It reveals that, if we fail to understand the power of God, we will actually find ourselves fearful of His power when confronted by it. The townspeople should have been filled with great joy and excitement at the total transformation of this man. However, instead of great joy and excitement, they were fearful. They were fearful because they did not understand God’s almighty power.
Reflect, today, upon the power and glory of God. He desires to do great things and to bring total transformation to your life. He desires to cast out the evil one lurking within our world, bringing instead His mercy and peace. As you reflect upon God’s power, allow yourself to more clearly understand Him. If you understand Him, you will be more fully ready to rejoice in His good works.
Lord, I rejoice in Your almighty power. I rejoice in Your greatness and glory. Help me to see the many ways that You are at work in our world and in the lives of those around me. As I see Your transforming power at work, fill my heart with gratitude for all that You do. Jesus, I trust in You.