Thursday, June 25, 2015

Paranormal tomb-dweller

Jesus meeting the demoniac 
- by William Brassey Hole

"Jesus meeting the demoniac" by William Brassey Hole

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 5:1-20

TO CHEW ON: "For He said to him, 'Come out of the man, unclean spirit!' Then He asked him, 'What is your name?' And he answered saying, 'My name is Legion, for we are many'" Mark 5:8,9

I don't profess to know much about demons and demonic activity—something for which I'm grateful. Judging by the paranormal tomb-dweller described here, demons are not something to cozy up to.

Demons, according to my Bible's sidebar article, are fallen angels. They are the angels that joined Satan in his rebellion against God (Isaiah 14:12-15; Revelation 12:3-4. To quote:

"As angels can ascend the heights of spirituality, demons reach the depths of hatred, bitterness, and perversion .... Although lust, homosexuality, gluttony, and witchcraft are expressions of sinful flesh, these are among practices that can also be expression of demonic activity in the lives of people. Grossly perverted sexual practices such as sadomasochism and pedophilia have demonic roots. In a similar manner, schizophrenia can be a mental disease but can also be caused by demon possession" - Pat Robertson and Christopher Hayward "What is a Demon?" New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1357.

It is interesting that the man in our story was doing something that's not uncommon today. We'd call him a cutter, i.e. he was injuring himself with stones.

He had another quality that is often characteristic of demonized people: unusual strength (Mark 5:3,4).

But in verse 6 we also see him doing something surprising for a demon-possessed man. "When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him." Was that the man's personality coming through, seeing a ray of hope that he might get free? Or was that the demons who despite themselves couldn't help but worship Jesus?

Some thoughts:
  • Though we may be loath to label behaviors and conditions demonic, we should pray for insight into them and the people afflicted, and for wisdom to know how to deal with them.
  • Jesus is greater than demons. The man with all his dark spirits sought out Jesus and worshiped Him.
  • Through Jesus I believe there is peace and wholeness for the most disturbed and deranged person, no matter how deep-rooted the condition.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, thank You that You are more powerful than demons. Help me to recognize demonic activity and to deal with it by Your power—Your name and Your blood. Amen.

MORE: Satan and Demons—a defeated foe

"The work of Christ on the cross is the ultimate basis for our authority over demons .... the New Testament epistles point to the cross as the moment when Satan was decisively defeated. Jesus took on flesh and blood, 'that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil' (Hebrews 2:14 NASB). At the cross God 'disarmed the principalities and power and made a public example of them, triumphing over them in him' (Colossians 2:15). Therefore Satan hates the cross of Christ, because there he was decisively defeated forever. Because the blood of Christ speaks clearly of His death, we read in Revelation of those who overcame Satan by Christ's blood... (Revelation 12:11). Because of Christ's death on the cross, our sins are completely forgiven, and Satan has no rightful authority over us" - Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology, p. 428.
Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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