We enter into the green period of our journey where we focus on living out the faith. The Gospel reading is confrontational. There are those who believe in demons and those who don’t. I don’t believe we are out to prove to anyone that demons exist or that they do not exist. I believe it is about honouring our experiences and the experiences of others.
The focus of this sermon therefore is not on the event as fact or metaphor. The aim is to show the power of Jesus, the reaction of the towns people, and the reaction of the man himself.
If we met a person claiming to be possessed, and threatening us, how would we react? I would be scared, so the fact that Jesus is not afraid of the man and his condition amazes me. In fact, he actually engages and confronts the problem, and cures the man. I can honestly say I have never healed a person of demons, or a mental issue. I wouldn’t know what to do, this too, makes what Jesus did amazing.
The people should be glad that the man is no longer possessed and is no longer a threat to the town, but instead they are angry about the pigs, and afraid of Jesus.
The man, having found peace, will follow Jesus to the ends of the Earth. Jesus should have placed him in training, but instead sends him to proclaim the gospel to the people. Proclamation is not about knowledge or personality, it is about sharing the real experiences of God in our life. It is the sharing of all the great things God has done in our lives.
The man hardly knew Jesus, but his passion and excitement shared the true message of God’s power and Jesus authority.
What is the message we proclaim? What has God done for you lately?