A Miracle of Deliverance

Read: Mark 5:1-15

They came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man . . . sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. (v. 15)

Have you ever felt divided against yourself, unable to accept constraint, even wanting to end your life? Maybe you have, or maybe you know someone who has felt this way. In today’s reading, we meet a man in deep distress, afflicted by “an unclean spirit” (v. 2). He couldn’t be with people anymore, so he lived in tombs among caves and cliffs. He couldn’t be restrained, so chains became his clothing. He couldn’t feel or think of anything but his own torment, so he was a danger to all, especially himself. Utterly rejected by (and rejecting of) his community, isolated, and self-harming. The very image of despair.

Until Jesus arrived. The story is a dramatic one, filled with vivid details. But amidst these details, notice that Jesus wasted no time and acted with great compassion and power to restore the man. By the time the disciples arrived, the man was sitting down, clothed, and in his right mind—a miracle of transformation had occurred.

The demon-possessed man’s condition was extreme. But so was Jesus’s reaction. He has authority over this world, and over all spiritual powers. No condition is too extreme for him to respond with transformation and healing. Do you judge your condition, or a friend or loved one’s condition, as so extreme that no one can help? Jesus can.

As you pray, ask God to heal and restore you, and anyone you know who is struggling.

About the Author

Fred Van Dyke is a conservation biologist dedicated to the care for God’s creation. In this role Fred has served government agencies, private consulting firms, and academic institutions doing research, management, and teaching in conservation science. He is also the author of two books on faith and environmental stewardship.

This entry is part 7 of 16 in the series The Miracles of Jesus