Day 4

Jesus Rescues, Restores & Heals

from the reading plan

Mark 5:1-43, Acts 9:39-41, James 2:19

In the The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy endures a great windstorm that drops her into a foreign land where she famously says, “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” Peter very well could have said something similar as he stepped out of the boat, for Jesus and His disciples had left their native Jewish soil for Gentile country. And who is the first person they encounter? Quite possibly a man as despicable as a God-fearing Jew could imagine. In the Jewish mind, pigs and graves were defiling things, which makes the man who rushes out to meet Jesus as unclean as one could get.

But we immediately recognize that there is more to it than that. Mark, who usually relays his stories at a quick pace, gives us an uncharacteristically detailed description of this man’s plight. He is captive to an evil and oppressive force that has left him in tatters. He is at the mercy of a power so formidable it is like the legions of Rome that brutalize any and all resistance they encounter. His neighbors, seeing the writing on the wall, tried to bind him in chains. There was simply no way to help this guy.

Enter Jesus—the Messiah, the Son of God, the Davidic King who is announcing the arrival of God’s kingdom. What will happen when these two powers come face-to-face, the power that has come to restore humanity and the power bent on destroying it? And yet, the battle is over before it even begins. The oppressors surrender on sight, and King Jesus sends them, tails tucked between their legs and squealing in defeat, back to where they came.

Without question, the scriptures present a worldview that acknowledges a spiritual battle underlying the pain and injustice we see in the world. Knowing this, Mark records this story to remind us that Christ’s power to rescue, restore, and heal is far greater than any force of evil. In this instance, one man’s nightmare ended, but Jesus wasn’t finished. Like this unnamed man, Jesus Himself would be stripped naked, abandoned, and His flesh torn. In love, He would allow the “Legions” of the world to do their worst to Him so that He might take the full force of evil upon Himself and give people like us a new life, free from oppression.

How are we to respond to this unearned gift of freedom? Listen again to Christ’s instructions to the restored man: “Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you” (Mark 5:19). Before, this man was living a broken existence. Now, he takes the light of Christ’s salvation to those who are lost in darkness. May we, who have been given new life in Jesus, go and do likewise.

Post Comments (5)

5 thoughts on "Jesus Rescues, Restores & Heals"

  1. Kevin Ibanez says:

    We see how Jesus has power over the demonic, death and disease. Jesus healed all three of these maladies in this chapter and demonstrated that He is the Benevolent and Sovereign King of the Universe. I love how Jesus is tough on the demons and compassionate with the Jairus and the woman who had bled for 12 years. Jesus restores life to a 12 year old girl and heals a woman who’s been bleeding for 12 years – such amazing parallelism to this chapter.

  2. Charles Shinn says:

    Great insight, Kevin and I agree.

  3. Brian Zurlinden says:

    One thing I have never really understood about some of the narratives surrounding the miracles of Jesus is Jesus’ charge to the healed/touched. Why would he encourage the man with the Legion to go share the good news of his salvation but command bringing someone back from death to be kept silent?

    1. Aaron says:

      It has to do with one group being Gentiles and the other Jewish. The Jews were awaiting The Messiah. But they were looking for a Messiah that would overthrow Rome, a Messiah who would restore Israel to its former glory. Their perspective of who and what the Messiah was to do was not in line with Jesus and His mission. Jesus’ concern was that the Jews would begin talking about how the Messiah was here and would then be expecting a revolution and overthrow to happen soon. And that kind of attention Jesus didn’t want. But in the case of the Gentiles, they had no concept of a Messiah. So Jesus wanted them to spread the news of One who had power of evil and could heal. They wouldn’t have had a distorted view of the Messiah. I hope that helps!

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