Friday, January 6, 2012

Healings and the Bible

I've been reading Luke 8 lately and I had the pleasure of rereading about some of Jesus' healings.  The first healing is the man who was possessed by a legion of demons - whom Jesus sent into the pigs.  As I read it, it struck me.  These people are not happy that the man is healed. . . a man who terrified the village to the point that they kept him in chains and under close guard and who lived his life naked and filthy was suddenly clean, healed, sane, no longer a threat.  How did the people of the village and region respond?  "GO AWAY!!!!  Please leave us."  Their reaction is fear instead of gratitude. 

Now the man who was healed and is suddenly demon free is delighted, but not his fellow villagers.  If you read it closely you realize a few things.  First, Jesus was in an area that was not Israel and where the Gentiles lived.  We know this because he was in Gerasenes a neighbor southeast of Israel.  But you  also know this because there was a herd of pigs.  No self-respecting and good Jew would have pigs.  Pigs were considered unclean and were in the sheet that God dropped down inf front of Peter later in the book of Acts.   Sadly the people of the village were more concerned for their own financial gain. 

My Life Application Study Bible raises a good point - normally in the Bible Jesus told people to remain quiet about him healing them.  This time though he encouraged the man to share with his family and friends about what had happened to him.  Jesus knew that soon God's love for the people would spread all over the world and this man played a part in that.  

Something else you notice is that instantly the demons in the man knew Jesus and that he was God's Son.  But they asked him to not torture them?  Hmmm. . . does this mean that God tortured the demons?  Probably not, but having failed and been driven out by the Son of God, I'm sure Satan wouldn't be too happy with them.   Satan like people is selfish - he thinks only of himself.  Just as the people of the village were not happy anytime Satan loses his grip he is not happy.   

What are your ties that keep you bound?  Some of us have struggled with demon possession and some of us have demons that haunt us - our past, poor choices we have made or things that have been done to us.  The good news is that you do not have to be bound.  God can free you.  Just as Jesus freed the man from demon possession He can free you from pain, bitterness, hatred, anger, malice, sexual addiction - you name it, there is nothing too big that Jesus' blood cannot cover.   

I hope you all have a good week. 
Love In Christ,
Maureen

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