Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."
In today's reading, Jesus heals a man possessed not by one demon, but by an entire legion of unclean spirits who have tortured and tormented him night and day for years on end. I find this encounter to be on of dramatic and horrifying intensity. A raving, frothing lunatic who foils all chains and restraints, who dwells among the tombs of the dead; a herd of two-thousand swine whose keepers most certainly were not Jewish; a host of ghastly, blood-curdling demons who rise from the crazed man, moaning and screeching like a howling gale, invading the bodies of the pigs who then, in a manic frenzy, stampede toward a cliff and into the sea where they drown. If this were a movie I was watching, it would be the scene where I scream and hide my eyes in sheer terror!
I am not alone. The people who lived in this place are beside themselves with fear and trembling at what has just happened. They are blind to the astonishing miracle which has transpired; their hearts and minds are shrouded with apprehension. Instead of rejoicing in the healing of the mad man, they beg Jesus to depart from them. He understands them better than they could ever know for, when the healed man asks the Lord to take him along, Jesus does not allow it. He recognizes that the only way these people will accept what He has done and acknowledge the mercy He has shown to this man is through the testimony of the man himself.
What has the Lord done for you? How has He shown you His great mercy? Are you sharing His blessings upon you with others? Be a witness to the world for Him; testify to His everlasting love!
"For as long as I shall live, I will testify to love . . ." ~ Avalon
Psalms 50, (59, 60) or 66, 67
1 Samuel 28:3-20
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