“Jesus, Please Leave!”
Scripture reading for October 16th: Mark 4-7
We who love Jesus can’t envision asking Him to depart from us or leave our town. We would invite Him to stay with us as long as possible to enjoy His companionship. Jesus wants to come and be with us as well. He came to earth to seek out and save lost people. (Luke 19:10) In our reading today, Jesus was on a mission that required crossing the Sea of Galilee with His disciples to find a very lost person.
After ministering to a crowd all day, Jesus told His disciples that they should go to the other side of the lake. They got in boats and Jesus got in the stern, found a cushion and went to sleep. It had been a hard day and He was tired! As they crossed the lake in the night, a furious wind arose that threatened to swamp the boat. The disciples excitedly woke Jesus, pleading for help. Jesus rebuked the wind and waves and a calm suddenly fell upon them. They were terrified and marveled about how the wind and waves obeyed Jesus! He chastened them for their fear and lack of faith. (Mark 4:35-41)
When they got across the lake, a man with an evil spirit came from among some tombs to meet Jesus. He had chains on his hands and feet and looked like a madman because of where he lived and the shape he was in. As He saw Jesus, he ran to Him and fell on his knees begging not to be tortured. The man’s name was “Legion” because of the large number of demons in him. Jesus rebuked the evil spirits and sent them into a herd of pigs as they requested. The swine ran over a steep bank, tumbled into the lake and drowned. Nearly two thousand pigs died!
The man was delivered, set free from the bondage, and in his right mind! (Mark 4:14-17) The people of the region, who depended on the pigs for their sustenance, were terrified and angry. They came to Jesus and asked Him to leave their region. Mark records that Jesus got into the boat to leave, and the delivered man asked to come along. Jesus sent him back to tell his family of what the Lord had done for him and then departed. This man became an evangelist, telling others throughout the area of what Jesus had done for him.
As we reflect on this story, we are first reminded of how Jesus loves and cares for His own disciples. He’s always with us, even when we think He might be sleeping or unaware! He has given us authority by and through faith in Him to do what He has asked of us. Nothing is too hard, dangerous, or difficult! Second, Jesus loves to go out of His way to find someone who needs help. He came to seek and save the lost! He will go through water, storm, and forces of hell to reach a needy soul. Last, those who are only into themselves are threatened by Jesus’ presence. They asked Him to leave! May the Lord give us more insight into His marvelous grace!