Sin is the ultimate illusion. So often we can think a sinful thought or action will take us one direction and before we know it we are being led another. Sin’s capacity to hoodwink us is showcased in Mark 5:1-20. I want to take this passage in segments, so I’ll quote a brief section, offer a brief reflection and then next time move further into the passage. I want to look at this passage allegorically. This doesn’t mean that I’m dismissing the literal. I believe one of Christ’s ministries was and still is deliverer and exorcist, but I want to look beyond that into some of the deeper meanings found within these events. Specifically, I want to talk about the illusion of sin, the sleight of hand it does with freedom, and Christ’s ability to dispense with all these smoke and mirrors.
Here is our first segment from the passage entitled, ‘The Healing of the Gerasene Demoniac’: “They came to the other side of the sea, to the territory of the Gerasenes. When he got out of the boat, at once a man from the tombs who had an unclean spirit met him.”
The passage begins with Christ’s arrival in the territory of the Gerasenes. And “at once” Christ encounters the man who is demon possessed.
Isn’t that telling?
When Christ arrives his first meeting is not with dignitaries, the charitable, or the “perfect” family. His first encounter is with the possessed man. When Christ first enters our hearts that is who he seeks. He doesn’t first seek out the part of us that loves babies and doesn’t want to see them aborted. Or the part of us that goes to church every Sunday. Or even the part of us that forgave the person who wronged us.
He wants a face to face encounter with our addiction to pornography or alcohol. He wants to meet the part of us that gossips and slanders. He wants to meet the part of our life that is still possessed with sin.
We convince ourselves that with God we should put our best foot forward and ease him into our brokenness. For goodness sake how do you do that!? He is all-knowing and exists outside of time! All you’re doing then is being disingenuous to your creator and delaying his healing touch. Obviously, God is patient with us, but we should not fool ourselves into believing that He desires to see our strengths first. He knows those! He wants to transform our weaknesses and that is far better news than just getting a pat on the back for what we are good at!