Jesus restores a demon possessed man

This is written by Henrietta Blyth. She is married to Rick, has been at St Mary's for a while now and loves gardening.

Mark 5:1-20

Jesus restores a demon-possessed man
5 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God's name don't torture me!' 8 For Jesus had said to him, 'Come out of this man, you impure spirit!'

9 Then Jesus asked him, 'What is your name?'

'My name is Legion,' he replied, 'for we are many.' 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, 'Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.' 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man - and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, 'Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.' 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Reflection

For many years, my father was a Freemason. When I became a Christian I began to realise that Freemasonry and Christianity were diametrically opposed. After much prayer and quite a lot of discussion my family - mother, father, sister and I - went on retreat to pray through our family tree. We spent four days at a Christian healing centre talking and praying through the things that had happened to our family in previous years.

It is a long story, but as a result of these prayers the Holy Spirit convicted my father and he renounced Freemasonry. Having been a church-goer all his life he made a new commitment to Jesus and said, "for 62 years I have been a church-going Anglican, but now I realise that the Bible is actually true."

I, too, received significant ministry during this time and was delivered of a number of demons. Just like in this story in Mark 5 they spoke through me but they could not resist the power of the Cross. As they came out of me I felt a burning through my chest.

When it was over I was exhausted. And just like this man in Mark 5, I did not want to leave the place where this had happened. I was frightened about going back to normal life and that the demons would come back. I did not want to leave the people who had helped me.

Jesus would not let the man stay with him. He told him, "Go home… and tell them…"

It is amazing when the Holy Spirit heals us and changes our lives but we cannot just stay in the same place forever. We must return to our lives and tell people of the wonderful things he has done for us. This is how people hear and the kingdom of God grows.

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