Mark 5: 15-17 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region.
If you read through scripture with an eye to see, you will see that Jesus teaches, heals and delivers people. Most of the time He does all three at the same time. Note that there is a distinct difference between healing and deliverance. Note also that in the modern church, we are BIG into teaching, we play at the laying on of hands for healing, and we run like banshees from the concept of deliverance. Yet Jesus did not. Jesus emphasized each of them and then told us that we would do even greater things than He did.
Here’s the irony- teaching is powerful. Seeing someone healed is a greater display of power. Even greater still is watching someone be delivered, on the spot, from demonic influences designed to kill them. As power increases, we pursue it less. This seems so counterintuitive, doesn’t it?
Perhaps we need not go any further than this basic concept to ask why the world is in the condition that it is in. Perhaps if we chose not to run and we explored and embraced what Jesus showed us to do- if we operated in the arenas of healing and deliverance as He taught us- we would not have the same bondage in the church today that society at large does. Death rates would go down, divorce rates would go down, people who were born with a homosexual spirit would be set free, etc… and others would flock to have what we have. Or they would beg us to depart. They might persecute us, mock us, make fun of us, and try to convert us to the ways of the world.
The irony here is exactly what this scripture shows- sometimes power, even power used for good, can cause us to run. Here is a group of people who knew this crazy, wild, self-destructive dude in their midst who was in his cave cutting himself, and had known him for quite some time. Then suddenly the guy is normal, just like them. He had his freedom, finally, through deliverance ministry done by Jesus Himself. One would THINK that the response would have been shouts of praise! But what did they do? They begged Jesus to leave. Begged him! What in the world would motivate them to beg Jesus to leave upon seeing a man set free?
Jesus changed their perception of who He was for them. He revealed His power and His authority to overcome things that no man had been able to overcome. He became an unknown. He remains an unknown, today, in so many ways, even to us.
Jesus is full of power. And He has all authority given to Him by the Father. People in His presence were afraid of Him because they saw His power so clearly. Yet, they didn’t trust, hold onto, believe in the fact that Jesus’ sole motivation is love. May Jesus grow in our eyes and may we not run when He does.
Takeaway- Jesus is larger than we think He is if there is no godly fear in us of His power and authority. If we were to operate as a church in the way He instructed, the statistics among us would look incredibly different from the rest of society and people would be set free. Yet, there is a natural instinct in us to be afraid of seeing His power and authority, even if it can be used for our own freedom. It is in deeper still surrender, when it feels as though we are jumping in blindfolded, that we are on the verge of experiencing more of what He has for us, solely out of His love for us.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I pray You would reveal even more to me of Your power and authority. As You do so, help me to not be afraid but instead, willing to surrender to whatever it is You are calling me. Make me open to Your teaching, to Your healing, to Your deliverance as You have revealed. Help me to never close my mind or turn away from whatever You and You alone want me to experience. I trust in Your love.