Many years ago, Ruth Bell Graham was interviewed regarding her perception of the Church today. Her take on it was simple… The church lacks honesty. She saw too many hurting people who came to the Church for healing, suffering in silence, especially those who had been there for some time. There was a tragedy in the fact that so many people believed that they would only be accepted if they looked the part and never revealed they had any problems or issues. It has been said often that the Church is the only army that shoots its own wounded.
As we begin delving into 4 of the Miracles of Jesus this week, the first is one we may have seen as something powerful and awe inspiring, but seldom something that tells how Jesus is encountering us. Mark 5: 1-20 tells the story of Jesus restoring a demon-possessed man to health. One might say that as a healer, Jesus believed in Holistic Health. Holistic Health teaches that your mind, body, emotions, and spirit are connected. If you exercise, you get more oxygen, which in turn heightens your mental capabilities, which brings you more energy, which gives you a better outlook. If you do nothing but work, eat, sleep, repeat… your energy drops, your muscles can atrophy, you can become depressed, and a feeling of God not caring can follow. In the telling of Jesus encountering the demon-possessed man, Jesus knows immediately what troubles the man approaching him, so much that he tells the demons to flee before the man even completes his stride. The Legion has invaded his spirit, but his body shows the marks of the torment, and his mental state shows the signs of fighting what troubles him. The man is in there, but the demons continue to overpower him.
But the demons fear the Son of God! They immediately bow before Him, acknowledging His power. Then they challenge Him, as though He should mind His own business. Finally, they beg not to be destroyed and instead cast into a herd of pigs. The Son of God has no disillusions about what troubles the man, every ability to bring complete, unconditional relief to his suffering, and power over the depths of Hell that dared to attack this man. So the question is… Why do we insist on believing that He will not do the same for us?
Actually, the better question is… Why do we, who have Christ in us, fail to discern when another person is troubled, when we possess the power to relieve it? We owe it to each other to be honest when we need help and healing and to be Christ to each other not just to those who don’t know Christ.
What demon am I wrestling with that Christ wants to use another to heal?
Who do I know is struggling and needs Christ’s healing touch through me?