Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the countryside. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. And then they came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had previously had the “legion”; and they became frightened. Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the pigs. And they began to beg Him to leave their region.
Understandably, the people who heard the reports couldn’t believe what had happened. How had Jesus exorcised demons from the deranged man they all knew, and sent them into a herd of pigs? Though we might like to believe otherwise, there is a good chance any of us could be found in that questioning crowd. The truth is, not everyone is comfortable with Jesus or the power and authority He wields—not then and not now.
People don’t know what to do with this kind of healing and restoration. As frightening as the man was when he was possessed and living in the caves, the people could categorize him as crazy and keep him at a distance. It was a power that they could see and label. Everything they knew to be evil or distorted could be placed on that one person, distracting them from the other evils around them. But now that he was healed, what were they supposed to do with him? Calm was restored. The man before them was unrecognizable from what he had been. Even more, they didn’t know what to do with someone who apparently had even more power than the demons. While this is an extreme circumstance, it remains the case for us still. We often refrain from entering into the messiness of people’s lives because we don’t know what to do with it. We don’t know how God could change or heal certain things. And when He does, we aren’t sure how to walk forward.
We follow a Savior and Healer who has more power than even the darkest of demons. Sometimes we forget that simple truth when we look around us and see such pervasive brokenness in our world. And even though it is dark, even though there is endless evil, we can’t keep Jesus at an arm’s length because His power is one we don’t always understand. Even the darkest corners and darkest evils in this world need the healing power that only Jesus can bring.
- Are there ways that you doubt God’s ability to heal certain kinds of brokenness? Why is that?
- How have you seen God’s power to heal, save, reconcile, or restore? How have you seen God’s power in ways that overwhelmed, frightened, or astounded you? How has that shaped your view of God?
- Ask the Lord for a deeper gratitude for His healing and restoration. Think about the ways you have seen it in your own story and in the lives of those around you. Thank Him for being far greater than any evil that had previously gripped you. Thank Him for restoring calm where there was chaos.