Shawn Bateman, Misionary to Argentina
February 05, 2019
Peace and Fear
Peace and Fear
You’re familiar with the story of the maniac in Mark 5, the guy whom the townspeople had tried to help, even binding him with chains. Yet he would break them, run naked among the tombs, and hurt himself. But one conversation with Jesus completely healed him. Jesus cast the demons into a herd of pigs, who in turn ran down the hill and jumped oﬀ a cliﬀ to drown. In a little while all the townspeople came out. The Bible says they saw there the man who had been possessed by demons sitting, clothed, and in his right mind, then it says they were afraid. Upon hearing from the witnesses an account of the whole incident, the townspeople begin to ask Jesus to leave. They want Him gone, but the maniac wants to be with him. What is the diﬀerence between these townspeople and this maniac?
Why are they afraid, but for the first time in a long time the maniac is at complete peace? I think perhaps what the townspeople are afraid of is Christ’s power. Power can be a frightening thing. Even the disciples were fearful just the night before, when they witnessed the power that Christ exhibited over nature as He commanded the storm to stop. Think of when you have met someone important, popular, or powerful. Meeting them is nothing at all like meeting your next-door neighbor.
I believe that perhaps the power of Christ caused these men to be fearful, and indeed that is a proper response. There is no one in all the universe more powerful than He. All authority and power has been given to Him. Yet notice the maniac is at peace. He wants to be with Christ, he isn’t fearful, why? I believe it is because he has seen something else of Christ here. He has seen power. He has experienced the power of the demon hoard that invaded and controlled his mind and body. It gave him supernatural strength, he was able to break chains. It utterly controlled him, causing him to do crazy things. He has also experienced the power of Christ, and what a great diﬀerence there was in this power. First being because Christ is infinitely more powerful than a horde of demons, and secondly because Christ used his power in love and for good. When Christ exercised his power over this man, he did so to help him, not to hurt him. He did so to set him free, not to control him or manipulate him. So therefore this man was at complete ease and peace with the most powerful man in the universe because he had also experienced the great love of Christ.
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