Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fear Factor

Mark 5:15-17 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.


Were they amazed that Jesus rescued the man from the many demons who called themselves Legion? No. Did they fall down and worship Jesus as their coming Messiah? No. Did they show any respect at all in fact? No. Did they demonstrate that they preferred demons over the Son of God? Yes.

It is almost unfathomable, but our nature will have us run to the demons before we run to Jesus. After healing this man known as the "Gadarene Demoniac", those in the region voice that they would rather have the demons back, and certainly have all of their pigs back. To me this is a frightening look into the hearts of people who are fallen. And all of us are this way in and of ourselves. We are so depraved, that we see demons and their doctrine as good and holy while we see Jesus and truth as an abomination (exhibit A: Oprah Winfrey).

The reaction of those who witnesses this great miracle in Mark 5 should have responded in worship. William Hendrikson writes, "Their real reaction was quite different. It was in fact the very opposite. Jesus must leave, the sooner the better: And they began to beg him to leave their district. This is reported by all three evangelists. It is essential to the understanding of the lesson here conveyed." He goes on, "How often, even in our own day and age, has not this incident been repeated? People are eager to listen to the story of Jesus and his love...just so the gospel's implications for daily life and conduct are not emphasized, for that would be upsetting!"

How many Christians, how many churches are asking Jesus to leave their districts and the sooner the better? How many are lining up to here some fluffy version of the Jesus story that makes them feel good but makes NO impact on their lives? How many times to we get afraid or even angry if we feel that Jesus wants to impose on our nice, comfortable existence. Jesus does not want to impose on our lives, he wants to turn them upside down and inside out! That's why they people begged him to leave. That's why people are still begging him to leave them alone.
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