28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Highest God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times, it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
Thoughts of verse
From the moment that the demoniac first confronts Jesus, the whole episode invites us to consider what Jesus has to do with the forces that occupy and control us. This way of reading neither denies the possibility of demon possession nor diminishes the miraculous healing.
Instead, it challenges us to think more broadly about Jesus’ sovereignty over the powers that destroy human life.
How many people in our world are haunted by a traumatic past and tortured by memories? How many live unsheltered and inadequately clothed because of social and economic forces that they cannot overcome, no matter how hard they struggle? How many are imprisoned, regarded as barely human, excluded, cast out? How many are enslaved by addictions no longer knowing where the addiction ends, and their own selves begin? Where do the governing authority’s separate people from their families, denying them the opportunity to seek better lives? Where do occupying armies still brutalize entire communities and hold them captive to fear?
Jesus comes to challenge and cast out every power that prevents us from living fully and freely as human beings created in God’s image. Jesus claims sovereignty not just over our souls, but over our lives here on earth. Many among us resist that news, finding deliverance from Legion too frightening, too demanding, too costly. But those whom Jesus has healed and freed know that his liberating love is indeed good news, the gospel that he commands us to proclaim throughout our cities and towns. Still today God is at work in Jesus, bringing God’s kingdom on earth, as it is in heaven.
Lord, help me not to lean on my own understanding but in everything acknowledge You so that You can direct my words, thoughts and actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.