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January 28 | Mark 5:1-20


 

DAILY READING

 

REFLECTION


by Elaine Pierce


In Mark 5 we read a disturbing story about a demon-possessed man who Jesus miraculously cures. This man is truly an outcast: he lives in tombs, apart from "civilized" people. I doubt he was invited to many dinner parties. In fact, the townspeople tried to chain him in the tombs, but he was so strong he broke the chains. My guess is that for the most part, he was out of sight, out of mind. He was someone you would cross the street to avoid encountering.


But how does Jesus respond when this man comes to him in desperate need of healing?


"Jesus had said to him, Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" (Mark 5:8)


Jesus is stronger than a legion of demons, isn't he? They quake in the face of his power and his faith, but demons despise inaction. Jesus allows them to enter the pigs, who rush into the lake and drown. This must have been a spectacle that shocked and surprised those tending the pigs. They "ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what happened." (v. 14) Then they bowed down and worshipped Jesus, right? Oh, no, they did the opposite:


"Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region." (v. 17)


Jesus upset the social order of the town. The demon-possessed man, despised and forgotten, had been restored to health and wholeness. What were they to do about this? How could they accept this awful person back into society? They would have preferred that he stay in the tombs. They were forced to deal with what Jesus had done - who was this man who was more powerful than a legion of demons?


So often Jesus is drawn to the poor, the misfit, the lowly. And we turn our backs on them. We would rather focus on people more like us, people who know how to behave in society, how to go along to get along. Or maybe I'm just speaking for myself, but I am convicted to focus on Jesus and ask him to make me a person who loves the unlovely. Jesus, make it so. I am weak, but your burden is light. What a day it will be when we meet the Gerasene demoniac and sing God's praises together!


PRAYER

Thank you, Lord, for your word, and for how daily joy its truths afford. Yes, sweeter are your words to me, than all other good can be. Thank you for reminding me how you look at the heart, not at outward appearance. Help me each day to love those people I encounter, in your name. Amen.






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1 Comment


robin.lorms
Jan 28

Good morning, Elaine. Well done Mi Lady! Serving those less fortunate than we are is a no brainer, right? What if everyone was "less fortunate?" There would be nobody left to help meet the needs. So, if we are blessed we are compelled to serve those not so blessed. Like you, I pray that God would use me in some small way to serve others. I have been blessed with time, health, other Christians as examples of 'Godly' living and a wife who loves and provides well for our family. Shame on me if I don't step up to help those in great need.

I loved your word pic of meeting the Gerasene demoniac in heaven. He will be there…


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