Tuesday, April 10, 2012

show him where it hurts

The Word for today:
Mark 4.35-5:20

They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and bruising himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me." For he was saying to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many." And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, "Send us to the pigs; let us enter them." So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out, and entered the pigs, and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and were drowned in the sea. (Mark 5:1-13)

I am not going to divulge the details, but I have, of late, been the target of an onslaught.

That’s about all you need to know, because my point is not my problems, or your problems, but the solution.

At one time or another, you've been targeted too.  I know you have, because it’s our shared circumstance. The onslaught is our lot in life.

In our reading today, we meet a man whose onslaught makes my onslaught seem slight. He was besieged by so many that his name had been changed to Legion.

How many demons were in a legion? I’m sure I could look it up, but to what purpose? The answer is too many.

Too many. Have you faced them? Too many emotions, too many worries, too many nameless fears, too many regrets.

What Jesus Christ offers is an overthrow, a complete turnaround, a reversal. He has authority over the supernatural realm and he has authority over the natural realm:

Then He asked him, "What is your name?" And he answered, saying, "My name is Legion; for we are many." Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, "Send us to the swine, that we may enter them." And at once Jesus [20] gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea. (Mark 5:9-13)

There is only one other circumstance in scripture when we see the words legion or legions. It occurs in the Garden of Gethsemane, when Jesus faced his captors:

Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? (Matthew 26:53)

Every one of your demons or troubles or fears or “unsolvable” situatiuons can be countered with saving power that will make your legions wish they were drowned in the sea.

Just tell him where it hurts. Tell him how many there are.  Because he would not, when on the cross, summon those legions for his own sake, he is able to summon them for you.

Just show him where the bullies are.


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