First Congregational Church Winter Park
They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had the legion; and they were afraid…Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood. - Mark 5:15 & 17
The Gerasenes had a man who was possessed with a legion of demons, and he was terrifying. He couldn’t be bound or constrained, and he was terrorizing his community. Everyone was afraid of him. Who wouldn’t be?
And then, Jesus comes along. He approaches this man that no one else would go near and drives the demons out of him into a nearby herd of swine. I know, poor swine….but that’s another meditation.
The point is, what comes next is really interesting. Rather than being delighted that Jesus healed this man and restored safety and security to their community, they become even more frightened of Jesus than of the possessed man and ask him to leave. The power of Jesus’ ability to drive the demons out was even more frightening to the Gerasenes than the demons themselves.
What a powerful testimony to a truth about us as people. Often, we are more comfortable with the demons that plague us than with a greater power that can restore us.
Does the power of God, when you really let it sink in, ever inspire you to dread like the Gerasenes? Maybe this little story helps us better understand the term “God-fearing.” We should never be afraid of God, but sometimes God’s power is too much for our human minds to take in.
Has that ever happened to you?
All-powerful God, let us be in awe but never in fear of your powerful presence, remembering that your power works on our behalf and seeks only to be in loving fellowship with us.