When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” Luke 8:28 (NIV)
Who wants to consider such dark and unfavorable themes as evil spirits and demons? Would agreeing to think about the subject be admitting their existence? Would we somehow travel too far down a scary path where we don´t want to go? Does it frighten us to stand on such shaky ground?
Jesus steps off the boat on the other side of the lake and is confronted with a man who was demon-possessed. Whatever it was that was haunting this man it had driven him crazy. He raved around naked and he lived among the tombs in the graveyard. People had tried to lock him away or chain him, but he was always able to break free. He was in a terrible state and definitely was not in his right mind.
Science and education today may not like us using the term of evil spirit. Being something we are unable to clearly define, do we attempt to stay safely clear of these dangerous and touchy issues? Yet if we have come this far to look at Jesus Christ, could we take a moment to consider His reaction? Do we really have to go so far out on a limb? Must we really get our feet wet? Or can we simply let Jesus gently teach us of an issue it looks like He understands? Could we look to Him to guide us across these troubled and murky waters?
First could we note whether or not Jesus attempts a definition? If He is the teacher should He be showing us the nature of this beast? Or does He simply react as if there simply are darker intentions that would harm us if given the chance? Does Jesus pass quickly by the issues of nature and composition? Does His concern reach to the individual who is being afflicted? Would our Teacher be showing us how to walk as well? Might we do well in leaving definition and recognition to those who like to dive into these issues?
Does the story give us reason to believe that whatever dark nature it was that had gotten a hold over this man, it knew Who Jesus was? Did it force the man to beg that the Son of God did not do something drastic with him? When Jesus gave the order for the evil in the heart of this man to leave, did it go? How should we read into it?
Where does this leave us? Should we dive into argument over the nature of the beast? Or could we point our attention on a loftier mission? Would it be beneficial to admit we still know little when it comes to understanding this kind of shadow? Could we then move forward to find helpful and uplifting truths? Could we focus on the fact that a suffering soul was healed? Could we celebrate that help came to mankind in the face of the evil that threatens us? Could we praise God above that He sent us His Son? Could we do what we can to come to know this humble Teacher? Shall we edge in as close as we can get to Him? Would we like to see what dark powers He could remove from our lives too?
Dear Jesus, we may speculate and we may argue. But in the spiritual realm we must admit our limited sight. However we come to stories that show us You know what is really going on. Please help guide us forward. Show us where we should look. Let us look to You now. If it pleases You, could you give the word that the dark forces which trouble us too may be sent away? Give us a little rest from the demons which torture our souls, we pray. And when we are clean and in our right minds again, let us sit and learn at Your feet. Let us go and tell those around us too of the healing You bring into our lives.