And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit… Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” — Mark 5:2&9, ESV.
If we are an Asian Movie Fanatic, we would have noticed that there are many films with the perpetrator taking over the victim’s lives through different science or magic. In Disney’s latest “Mulan” film, Xian Lang (played by Gong Li), was a shapeshifting witch who can transform herself into people she wanted to be and infiltrate the enemy’s territories to gather intel or to catch people. In “The King: Eternal Monarch”, people from a parallel universes crosses into another parallel universes to steal the lives of their counterpart with the aid of the film’s supervillain, Lee Lim (played by Lee Jung-Jin). In “It’s Okay to Not Be Okay”, Ko Moon-young (played by Kim Soo-hyun), was haunted by the ghost of her mother, making her unable to lead a life that she ought to. In all of these film, we see a common theme: We are all not free to live a life that is true to ourselves. In all of these cases, demons or other things take control of the person in question, limiting them to live to their fullest potential or causing themselves to harm themselves and the people around them.
In the Bible, we see similar records of such demonic possessions and mental illnesses affecting people. Similar occurrences of demons or things that affected their human victim, disallowing them to lead lives they were called to live. In all these cases, we see Jesus begin His healing process through 1) identifying the nature of the demon (and illness), then 2) identifying who the person is in the Eyes of God, and 3) conducting the necessary actions to heal. Let me break it down one by one.
Identifying the Nature of the Demon (or Illness)
In the famous story of Jesus summoning the demons from the possessed man into the herds of pigs, we see that Jesus first saw Him, He analysed the situation and what this demon could do. He saw that the demons caused the man to live amongst the tombs, and they had the strength to break every chain and shackles used to bound him. The demon was also cutting the man with stones. Jesus wasn’t afraid. Rather, Jesus calmly asked the demon to come out of the man. It was then when the demon begin begging Jesus not to torment them. So what did Jesus do? Jesus spoke to the demon, asking them what are their names and listening to their cries of not being sent out to the open country.
Jesus identified the Demon and what it could do before doing anything. Likewise, when faced with similar situations, we will also need to identify the Nature of the Demon (or the illness) before deciding on the appropriate prescription for the cure. However, we will not be able to do so without identifying who the person is through the eyes of God. Hence, this brings me to my next point.
Identifying who the person is in the Eyes of God.
In order to identify the demon and to heal the person, we will need to know who that person is before the possession took place. Now, this possession could have taken place any time during the person’s lifetime, making it very hard to know how the person was when they were in their pink of health. Hence, this requires prayers and meditations for the Holy Spirit to help us discern who that person is in the eyes of God. Everyone is precious in the eyes of God. Everyone is deeply loved by God. And for that, He knew how we were before we were even born. He knew our every thought and He counted every strand of hair on our head. Knowing who the person in the eyes of God will help us see the person in his full potential despite everything that had happened to him. Now, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to peel back the layers masked by the possession and to see the person as he/she is. Once we have identified who that person is, we will be able to determine the extent of harm inflicted upon the person and the reason why the demon was doing what it was doing.
Selecting the Necessary Course of Actions for Healing
Just like a mathematics formula, we can, by deduction, figure out the suitable course of actions. Because I’m a statistical fanatic, please allow me one formula:
In order to help the person return to his/her pink of health, we will need to minus away the Demon and other extraneous variables that might have affect this person. In the context of Mark 5, the extraneous variables are the physical harm inflicted by the demon on the man. That meant, in order for Jesus to fully heal the man, He needed to 1) get rid of the demon from the man, and 2) heal him physically. Now, we see that Jesus did exactly that in the Scriptures. The Scriptures wrote that when the people of the country came to Jesus, they “saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.” (Mark 5:15, ESV). Despite the physical, emotional, and psychological trauma, to the observer, it was as if nothing had happened to the man. But no, the man was healed, completely.
We Need To Learn and Do The Same
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.” — John 14:12-14, ESV.
When Jesus said that we will do greater things than He, He meant it. This was because we are called to be Salt and Light for Him. We are called to heal the sick, drive out demons, and to testify for Him, all in His name. This is why we will need to learn to identify demons, the different nature of these demons, and be able to see people the way God sees them. Only this way will we be able to know what is the necessary course of actions to take in order to heal others who are facing the same predicament as the possessed man who was living amongst the tombs.
Do you have a loved ones struggling with possessions or mental illness? I sure have. Do not be afraid to share. I’ll be willing to hear your stories and to pray for you and your loved ones.Image by Madeinitaly from Pixabay
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