|The recent killing of a local police chief and the shooting of four other officers was a stark reminder of the presence of evil in our world. One need only unfold the newspaper, open a web browser or turn on the television to find ourselves face to face with evil. As soon as it is put down in one place, it rears its head in another. It is all around us and we can’t seem to get rid of it.
In this week’s passage, we see Jesus confronted with the presence of evil. A man, possessed with many demons, practically pounces on Jesus as he pulls up on the sleepy, eastern banks of the Galilee. So much for a rest after the stormy seas of the previous passage. This account is shared in Matthew and Luke, but Mark focuses on this one particular man (others were present) and the circumstances surrounding his interaction with Jesus. Mark’s account is quite significant in revealing not only who Jesus is, but how the effects of evil are gradually overcome now and completely at a time to come.
The presence of evil in the world is difficult to understand and causing uneasiness for believers and non-believers alike. We’ll take an honest look at the problem of evil (and yes why Jesus allowed all those pigs to be drowned) when we gather on Sunday. But in the meantime, consider the following questions:
What types of evil do you see in the world today? Where do you see it?
What does the passage tell us about our own ability to overcome evil?
What did Jesus ask the restored man to do, that differed from the instructions He had given others at this point in Mark’s gospel?
Please join me in praying for God to strengthen our faith and increase the presence of His kingdom when we gather for worship this coming Sunday.