“…the demon-possessed man was sitting fully clothed and in his mind, and they were afraid…and they began to urge Jesus to get out of their territory.” – Mark 5:15,17
What a strange response to the healing of this man, now free of the demons possessing his soul. Before Jesus came, the townspeople most likely avoided going through the cemetery so not to encounter “the crazy man”. He was probably cast as the ‘boogie man’ in stories to children, to frighten them into being good. They no longer have to be afraid; Jesus healed him.
It is surprising that the townsfolk are not relieved and happy that the man was restored to health; that their village was restored to peace. Instead, the townsfolk ask Jesus to leave.
By the extraordinary change they find in the man, their pigs in the bay signifies that their lives too, are altered. They are not ready to begin the new existence brought upon them, and they ask Jesus to leave.
Their lives have been disturbed enough, thank you Jesus, you can leave now.
As we approach Lent, we are invited to let ourselves be disturbed – to let God into the village of our heart and turn it upside down. To let him alter our very being from the inside out. We desire it, but it is not easy. In these days leading up to Ash Wednesday, may we find the courage to let the Lord Jesus in, and let him restore the order to our inner lives.
May God bless you!