Faith Daily | 30 January 2023
PRAYER of the DAY - APBA p533
you have taught us
that all our doings without love are worth nothing:
send your Holy Spirit,
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you;
Grant this for your Son Jesus Christ’s sake.
GOSPEL for the Day: Mark 5: 1-20
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2And when he had stepped out of the boat, immediately a man out of the tombs with an unclean spirit met him. 3He lived among the tombs; and no one could restrain him any more, even with a chain; 4for he had often been restrained with shackles and chains, but the chains he wrenched apart, and the shackles he broke in pieces; and no one had the strength to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always howling and bruising himself with stones. 6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed down before him; 7and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8For he had said to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” 10He begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11Now there on the hillside a great herd of swine was feeding; 12and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us into the swine; let us enter them.” 13So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the swine; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea, and were drowned in the sea.
14The swineherds ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came to see what it was that had happened. 15They came to Jesus and saw the demoniac sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had had the legion; and they were afraid. 16Those who had seen what had happened to the demoniac and to the swine reported it. 17Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood. 18As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed by demons begged him that he might be with him. 19But Jesus refused, and said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and what mercy he has shown you.” 20And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed.
GOSPEL REFLECTION: Debbie Pringle
Jesus had travelled about 6 miles across the Lake of Galilee to a predominately Gentile area, leaving in the evening (ch.4:35). If it was summertime it would have been light until about 9.30pm. Adam Hamilton, in his book, “The Way”, calculated that the journey across the lake would have taken about 2 hours.
During the crossing Jesus had shown His power over nature by calming the storm. Now He shows His power over evil.
Whether it was still light or not, it must have been frightening having this wild, naked, demon possessed man meet them. (Matthew tells us that there were two demon possessed men; I expect the other man was far less out of control and therefore didn’t feature in Mark’s (or Luke’s) accounts. Jesus shows His power and authority, and with one word, “Go” (Matt 8 32), casts out the demons. I am puzzled as to why Jesus let them go into the pigs. Maybe it was a visual proof that the demons really had left the man. The story shows that God valued this crazed, broken man far more than the 2000 pigs.
When the people came to see what had happened, the previously demon possessed man was sitting at Jesus’ feet (as a disciple would have done), dressed and sane. How sad it was that instead of rejoicing and listening to Jesus, the people pleaded with Him to leave. He did.
The man wanted to go with Jesus, but instead of letting him, Jesus told him to go and tell his people what the Lord had done for him. The man obeyed and probably became the first witness to the Gentiles. He travelled throughout the Decapolis (10 cities), telling of what Jesus had done for him.
Just as this man was called to be a witness for Jesus, we too, are called to tell others what He has done for us.
Lord Jesus, Too often my feet Are slow to move, Hesitant to step out, And back away from faith conversations Rather than walking into them confidently.
Today would you Clothe my feet with readiness, Keep them from stumbling, Direct them where to walk, And quicken them to move.
Feet are rarely admired, But you call them beautiful When they carry your gospel.
As I step out in faith and obedience, Would I find myself surprised That people consider my words, My manner, And my message, To be Hopeful, Truthful, And beautiful.
Amen. unrelenting love.