In Chapter 5 and verses 1-19 of his Gospel, Mark tells the story of Jesus’s encounter with a man possessed by demons. The man’s torment was unimaginable as Mark relates: Every day and night the man would emit loud, dreadful cries and would cut himself. The town’s people must have been at their wits’ end and lost many a night’s sleep. The man roamed among the tombstones in the cemetery and all the people were afraid to go near him. When Jesus asked the demons how many of them were there, one of them answered, ‘My name is Legion for we are many.’ (A legion was a major unit of the Roman army consisting of 3,000 to 6,000 infantry troops and 100 to 200 cavalry troops). As I read that, it was hard for me to understand how ~ but then, it’s a world outside our comprehension.
But here they were, a hoard of demons confronting one man, Jesus. The story concludes with the man being set free and in his right mind and the demons dispatched into a herd of pigs. The demons were so treacherous that even the pigs could not tolerate them and ran to the ocean to drown themselves. The part I find a bit disconcerting is that the town’s people found the loss of the pigs more important than the man’s freedom and their own peace of mind.
What a great story of the power of God to deliver and set free. Even at 2000 against one, the balance of power would be overwhelming. But not when the Creator of heaven and earth is involved. There are times in life when we are confronted with insurmountable problems and try as we may, we can’t seem to get a handle on them. It is then that we remember the words of Jesus, “Lo I am with you always even to the ends of the age” and are brought home by His assurance that’ “Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.” It is precisely at those times that you need to “cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.”
© September, 2014 Carol Castagna