Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Jesus Casts out a Legion of Demons

    Today’s Reading:
  • Mark 4:26 -  5:20
  • Psalm 37:30 - 40
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Mark 4:26 -  5:20
Today I read the story of how Jesus casts demons out of a man and sent the evil spirits into a herd of pigs.  I have heard the story before, but reading it was much more interesting.  The bible says this man was possessed by numerous demons.  Chains could not hold him down, and he lived in burial caves, crying out as he cut himself with stones.  The description of the man makes me think of the creature Gollum from Lord of the Rings.  

So we have a man who behaves more like a creature -- living in burial tombs, crying in pain, inhuman strength that snaps the chains he is bound in, and along comes Jesus.  What surprised me is that this man first ran to Jesus and bowed before him.  I guess that the man was in there somewhere, enough to realize that here came someone who could help him become free.

The spirits spoke as one to Jesus.  They acknowledged that Jesus was the Son of God, and they told him that their name was Legion because they were many.  The spirit begged Jesus not to be sent away to be tortured, so instead Jesus cast the demons into a herd of 2,000 pigs.

I wonder, were there actually 2,000 demons inside that one man?  Or were there enough there to enter a majority of the pigs, and the rest freaked out?  Regardless of the number of demons, the result was that all 2,000 pigs went crazy and ran off a cliff and into the lake, drowning. 

Another thing that interests me about this story is the reaction of the people.  When these people heard what had happened they became afraid and asked that Jesus leave them.  I guess I could understand their fears, especially if they had been witness to these demons speaking to Jesus and then being flung into a herd of a couple thousand pigs that suddenly ran themselves straight off of a cliff.  

It's a story that seems to come right out of a horror movie. Perhaps that's why I'm so intrigued by it -- horror movies are my favorite genre.  Now I can add "horror" to the long list of genres that make up the bible.  Such an interesting book.  And in this book is the story of Jesus -- such an interesting, awe-inspiring, miracle healing, demon exorcising, compassionate and wise man, who is not just a man but one with God.  I cannot wait until I have read all of the stories contained in this book.

Psalm 37:30 - 40
These verses tell us that God is with those who are godly and the wicked, while thriving temporarily, will eventually be destroyed.  The following three verses were really beautiful and sum up this reading, so I will end by quoting Psalm 37:35 - 37:
I have seen wicked and ruthless people flourishing like a tree in its native soil.  But when I looked again, they were gone!  Though I searched for them, I could not find them!  Look at those who are honest and good, for a wonderful future awaits those who love peace.

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