Would I Do the Same?
Read Mark 5:1-20 The story of how Jesus heals the Gerasene Demonic.
" Those who had seen what had happened to the demonic and to the swine reported it. Then they began to beg Jesus to leave their neighborhood." Mark 5:16-17 (NRSV)
Cassius Rhue is from South Carolina. Each time he reads today's verse, he finds himself in stunned disbelief. Despite another wonderful and amazing miracle, the crowd still didn't want to accept Jesus and emphatically asked him to leave. [Why would they want Jesus to leave when he had healed a demon-possessed man and cast out a legion of evil spirits? Why would they reject the presence of Christ?]
Recently as Cassius read those verses, he had a different question? This time he asked himself, "Would I ever do the same thing?" He realized that at times he too was asking Jesus to leave him. When he chose anger and hateful speech, chose his ways over God's commands, chose to misrepresent the truth, or chose to stand quietly when he should have spoken out, he was rejecting Jesus.
The people may have rejected Jesus, but the demon-possessed man, now fully rational, was the one who got it right. He knew that Jesus was someone to follow and stay near. May we learn not to send Christ away but instead to steadfastly follow him.
Prayer: dear Lord, forgive us when we choose paths that separate us from you. Instead, help us choose paths of grace and love, in Jesus' name, amen.