June 1 -Fear the Good

Read: 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. (Mark 5:15-17 ESV)

The first portion of the fifth chapter of the Gospel of Mark records the incredible encounter between Jesus Christ and a man possessed by a legion of unclean spirits (demons). Christ sends the demons away from the tormented man, allowing them to enter a herd of pigs. The pigs run down a hill and throw themselves into the water, and the herdsmen run to the nearby community to spread the tidings of this startling event. Afterwards a gathering of curious people come to the site of the exorcism, a graveyard near the coast.

I find it really interesting that the locals were afraid of the events that took place. They clearly saw they changes that had come over the demoniac. He was no longer tormenting himself and loving among graves. He was no longer dwelling in a state of perpetual uncleanliness. He was in his right mind. He was clothed. And they were afraid. What were they afraid of?

They were afraid of the unknown. Jesus did and said things that had never been done before. It rattled people. It was a departure from the known and familiar.

His actions consistently forced people to make a gut check. He was calling people to faithfully embrace the plan of the Father by forsaking the comfort of the status quo. Jesus wanted them to unleash the full freedoms of unfettered faith.

He still wants that. It’s time for a gut check. It is time to fearlessly set aside the stale positions of our present in favor of the future set aside for us by God. The difference is drastic. It is the difference between life and death. It is the difference between heaven and hell. The only good we have to fear is the one we fail to follow.

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