rejection or transformation
Mark records the healing of a man possessed by many demons in Mark 5. They called themselves “legion” because they were so many. The demons were cast into a herd of pigs, and the man was set free …
14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolisc how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
The man above could do nothing to rescue himself. He was in utter bondage as a possessed person. It took the Son of God coming into his life to rescue him from the dominion of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. He was fully aware of the thorough cleansing he had been given. He had been set free from possession and restored into his right mind.
That was not all, however. Jesus also justified, sanctified, atoned for and resurrected this man.
How do we know? Because of his response.
The people of that region had no way of processing the miracle that just happened. Instead, they rejected Jesus in fear of His power demonstrated through the loss of their income. They could only see the material loss. They could not rejoice in the Work of God on the Earth. They could not see the redemption and the redeemer before them.
But the man does. He knew he had been enslaved and in total bondage. His response was to beg to go with Jesus. But Jesus sends him away to tell others what great things God had done for him in His great mercy. This is contrasted with how the people reacted by pleading with Jesus to leave them.
Sometimes, in our sin, we cannot look upon Jesus. We are caught up in everyday life, concerned about finances, relationships, or other things. Or, we think we are so misshapen by sin that we cannot look upon the Holiness of Christ.
At times like this, remember that your and my ugliness is the very reason He came. We do not have to wait until we are “shiny and clean” to approach him. In fact, it is better if we approach Him in the ugliness of sin and ask for, even beg, or plead, for His mercy. And Jesus will never say no. He is God’s living forgiveness, redemption, justification and sanctification for us sinners; always.