Lenten Devotion: Saturday, March 14
And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. But he refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has always had mercy on you.
Mark 5: 18-19
There’s a lot to unpack in the story of the Gerasene Demoniac. Jesus crosses the sea of Galilee, where he meets a man of “unclean spirit, who lived among the tombs.” This man (whose name is Legion) recognizes Jesus as the “Son of the Most High God,” and Jesus allows his demons to leave him and enter a herd of swine, who then rush down the hillside and drown themselves in the sea. And then Jesus leaves, but not before he tells the man to witness to his friends the Lord’s power and mercy.
How do these happenings more than 3,000 years ago in modern-day Jordan connect to our daily lives as Christians? First, if we recognize Jesus as the Son of God and allow him into our lives, he can heal us. No matter what our demons, even if they are legion, Jesus has the power to cleanse our spirit. Just as no one could subdue the demoniac but Jesus, we also need his grace in our lives to control our demons. Second, we should reflect on and be grateful for all the Lord has done for us and given us and proclaim his glory as we are called in our life and work. Finally, Jesus wants us to see and recognize him in all his creatures. The demoniac was cast out of society and bound in fetters and chains. He was unclean, isolated, and marginalized. He was mentally unstable. But Jesus chose him as the vehicle to proclaim his Word.
Pray for the homeless, the incarcerated, the mentally ill, and those living on the margins of society.