Mark 5 verses 1-20

7/02/21

That’s the power of love! 

The man who was possessed was across the other side of the lake, living in Gentile territory- not where Jesus would be expected to go, and amongst those who were seen as being ‘outside’ of God’s chosen people. He may have been a Gentile. He had been thrown out by those people, so he was even outside of the group of outsiders. They had tried to chain him up but he had broken those chains so he was outside of the control that kept him away from the people who were thought to be beyond God’s love. And he was hurting; cutting himself, living amongst the graves in a lonely place, crying out – hurting within and surrounded by pain and death.

NO one is too far away to be reached  Jesus came across the lake, through storms, towards this man and the man saw Jesus coming from a distance and ran towards him. No matter what it is that we think can keep us apart from Jesus; things we have done, things we are doing to ourselves, to others, things which have happened in our past, the ways people have treated us, the pain within our hearts or our bodies … Jesus draws near and we can come to Him. If we see others, near or far to us, who are hurting themselves, within themselves, or hurting others, but perhaps are scary to us, outside of our usual group, out of reach in some way, and we don’t know what we can do to help them, we can be the disciples, bringing Jesus with us in the boat (through the storm which tests our faith) to bring Him closer to them, in prayer, word and action. Then they might see Him from a distance and run to Him. 

The demons: they recognised Jesus and His authority. They were shown mercy. Jesus granted their request and sent them into the pigs who were close by. But the demons were still were bent on death and destruction and that’s what happened, straight away, to that large herd of pigs. 

Sin leads to death and destruction.  That’s what it does. 

Only Jesus can deal with it and remove it. We can try to chain it up with man-made restrictions, as the people had done to the man here. We can try to ignore it, leave it among the tombs and not talk about it, but it will still be hurting – what ever it is, we can bring it to Jesus. He has the power to deal with it, even to the size of a whole legion of demons, He has the power. And they know it. 

The local people had tried to chain up the man because they were frightened of him – after he met Jesus, as he sat ‘clothed and in his right mind’ the people were even more afraid. They could see that the man had been totally transformed. They could see the power that Jesus had – and it frightened them, so they asked Jesus to leave. Jesus is not tame, He disturbs people.

Jesus has power greater than anything else here on Earth, to cross barriers of all kinds and completely transform, to deal with evil and sin and death, to bring healing and wholeness and make us right with God. That’s the power of Love.