Friday, May 29, 2009

MkITN V, Verses 1 - 20

1. They arrived some time later on the other side of the lake, in the country of the Gerasenes.

2. And as soon as He stepped out of the boat, a madman under the influence of a rebel spirit came right up to him from out of the cemetery.

3. This man actually lived outside among the tombs, and no authority could subdue him any more, even with chains.

4. In an effort to control his violent and antisocial behavior, he had been bound on many occasions with handcuffs and shackles on his feet, but every time he wrenched the cuffs apart, and broke the shackles in pieces. No one seemed to have the strength to restrain or tame him, so they just left him alone to live in the graveyard.

5. Night and day he was out there among the tombs on the mountainside, shrieking and screaming, and mutilating his naked body with stones.

6. But when he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees before Him in reverent submission...the spirit controlling him recognized Jesus, as the spirits always did, and true to form, its first instinct was to bow before Jesus in worship.

7. And, crying out with a loud voice, the spirit spoke through the man, saying, "What business do You have here with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High? Why has the Son of God come here? I beg you not to torment me!"

8. Jesus immediately recognized that the worship and honor was coming from the dis-embodied spirit, and not from the man, so He said, "Come out of this man, you controlling spirit!"

9. And He asked him, "What is your name?" And the spirit responded simultaneously in the singular and in the plural, because in the spirit realm they are most always the same. And, mixing his pronouns he said, "'My' name is Legion, for 'we' are many!"

10. Being typically resistant to change or movement as rebel spirits usually are, he kept begging Him urgently not to send him/them away out of that region.

11. Now an enormous herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside while this exchange was happening.

12. So "Legion" begged Him, saying, "Please, Sir, grant us permission to go to the hogs, that we may go into them!"

13. So He did give them the permission, being fully aware that they could do nothing without it. And the spirits came out of the man, and entered into the hogs. And the entire herd, numbering about 2,000, immediately rushed headlong down the steep slope into the lake, and were drowned in the water.

14. Terrified, the hog feeders ran away, and told everyone they met in the town and in the country about the bizarre incident. And practically everyone they told came to see what it was that had taken place.

15. And they came to Jesus and looked with amazement at the man who had been previously controlled by the spirits, just sitting there, clothed, calm, and completely lucid...the very same man who had been controlled by the Legion of spirits called demons...and they were seized with alarm and struck with fear.

16. And those who had seen it related in full what had happened to the man who had lived in the cemetery, and to the hogs.

17. And they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood.

18. So He did, and when He had stepped into the boat, the man who had been liberated kept begging Him that he might go with Him and be with worshipping Him on his own accord, and not under the influence of any other entity.

19. But Jesus said to him, "No,'ll be more effective if you go home to your own family and friends, and tell them all that the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you. They need to see for themselves what has happened to you!"

20. And the man departed and immediately began to publicly proclaim in Decapolis, or the region of the Ten Cities, how much Jesus had done for him...and his testimony was, indeed, very effective, for all the people were astonished and marveled when they heard him!


Northern Light said...

WOW...this one has been close to my heart recently. Weeks ago, I studied this passage at our home small group. Reading this here, tears well up in my eyes, as the story is representative (within reason) of my friend's 10 year old daughter, Nicole. (IF you can imagine).......she has multiple personalities, voices and problems, stemming from abuse as an infant/toddler, before coming to my friend for fostering and later adoption. I PRAY that she could have such an "intervention", with Jesus and the casting out of her "inner rebel self, demons, whatever plagues this beautiful child". Her parents believe this could be their child.....calm at last and praising Jesus. We intend to pray over her and lay hands on her, rebuking all we can. I wish we were there, in such a strong faith believing church as CITN for others to pray with us and for her.

OH MY friend just NOW called and is on the phone telling me that Nicole just self mutilated her face...please pray and although this isn't where this was supposed to go, I believe it is relevant and will reach those that can also pray for her, besides those in the prayer room.

The calm man, proclaiming what happened to him.....and seeing others believe, just by seeing him..that is how we all should spread the word. How beautiful.


This is an awesome chapter and the story is a circle of/for faith in print.

Anonymous said...

Bishop I am loving MkITN.The way you write makes me feel like I am reading these stories for the first time.

Debra M

Izumi/JOY said...

Are verses 1-3 a review?

Last chapter, the disciples were terrified of their seemingly impending deaths. V.39 seems like the embodiment of 1 Cr. 13:12. (seeing things imperfectly - through a poor mirror; partial and incomplete)

Why else would Jesus identify their afflictions (fragility, fearfulness, and faithlessness), then offer the window to conquer them? (chapter V: 4-6)

7. Wouldn't it be Wonderful, if Jesus replied with, "My Father's business!" (how bizarre that the controlling spirit begged Jesus not to torment, since that's what it was doing to its host)

15. ..."clothed, calm and completely lucid" - arrayed with peace - I like that.

Anonymous said...

In agreement with Northern Light for the liberation of her friend's 10 yr old daughter. The power of the Christ works in us all according to that covering and the name of the Jesus who cast out the demons in this man mentioned in MiKTN V is still as powerful as it has ever been. My faith for a mystical revelation of this Christ is that not only will the child be healed but be made whole in every way.

The picture of the hogs is very well drawn here Bishop. This renews both previous thoughts and provokes new ones on this passage. In the past I have thought about the significance of the demons choice of going into the swine. It occured to me (probably seed sown by predjudice) that they chose the swine because of the religious bias of the Jews against swine (sort of a reverse discrimination thing). You have opened a new view of this.

11. Now an enormous herd of hogs was grazing there on the hillside while this exchange was happening. By this paraphrase it is easy to see that the hogs were distracted by eating. The demons seeing this knew they would be able to make that leap without difficulty for the moment. What they did not count on was that the hogs prefferred going to the next dimension over intertaining them. So they were left to exist in the nethers of arid space until their next opportunity. This may have gained a passing admiration for Jesus by the religious but what they didn't count on was Jesus directive to the free man that he followed much to their dismay.

Can't wait to see what you do next.

Larry Usher said...

Ahh, the power of personal testimony, "Look what the Lord has done!" Some will preach, some will teach, some will just say, "this is what He has done for me...and THAT will preach!
No situation so dire, so out of control that the Lord can't tame it and bring it in line!