As he (Jesus) stepped out onto land, a madman from town met him; he was a victim of demons. He hadn’t worn clothes for a long time, nor lived at home; he lived in the cemetery.
He was somebody before the demons victimized him. We aren’t told his name or what his life was like. But I would like to humanize him if possible. I suspect he was a man of significance; a significance he didn’t even recognize. Oh, his reputation might not have been for financial reasons, though it could have been. Maybe his significance was influence; maybe he was a man that people respected, looked up to, enjoyed knowing. Maybe he had a wife and kids and a nice livelihood that enabled him to provide for them. We aren’t told these things.
Whatever his life was, it wasn’t anymore. Whatever his influence may have been, it was no more. The Bible tells us that he had so many demons tormenting him that they were referred to as Legion (Legion being 6000 Roman soldiers). So, either Satan had a lot of unemployed demons just hanging out or this man’s significance had alerted Satan that something needed to be done to stop him.
And so, the torment began. The Bible says that in the early stages of this torment, the townspeople could restrain him. This implies to me that he must have tried repeatedly to remain in the town he called home among the people he knew but he was dangerous to them and they sent him out – repeatedly. At some point, he was no longer able to be restrained because of his strength but then this reads like he settled into the tombs and no longer attempted to go home.
And there he was when Jesus showed up. This man who had lost everything had finally succumbed to the voices that played in his head – the ones that said – it’s pointless, you will never be ok again, you will never be among your friends again, your old life is gone, you will never be loved again, never have any influence again and as for significance – forget that.
But I think there was an ember of hope in him. He was naked, he was miserable, he was cutting, but he didn’t commit suicide. Something in him wanted to live, wanted to believe that there was hope for him and when Jesus came into his path, that ember of hope fanned into a flame. And Jesus delivered him from his tormentors! Epic win! Certainly not the biggest epic win Jesus would bring about but a noteworthy and life restoring one.
Regardless of the torment, regardless of the length of time the torment has plagued you, regardless of what you may have lost because of the torment, Jesus is greater! The battle isn’t over until Jesus says it’s over!
Thank You, Jesus, that no matter how far I roam, how sick I may be or how easily I may forget to turn to You, I am never too far from Your reach. Thank you for coming after me and coming after each and every one of my family members. What love You have demonstrated in this pursuit of this one man. Thank you for value you placed on that nameless man’s life and the dignity You restored to him. I am grateful that You are no respecter of persons and that what you did for him you will do for others, including me and mine. In Jesus’ name. amen.
I would love to hear from you. Please let me know if I can be praying for you as well.
pic credit: ids.org