Then they began to beg him to leave their district. Mark 5:17 NABRE
Mark writes about Jesus performing an exorcism while visiting the territory of Gerasenes. It was a territory east of the Sea of Galilee. There were numerous caves along the shore, many of which were used to bury the dead. It was a Gentile region and it would have seemed alien to Jews, the inhabitants did not observe the Jewish moral and dietary laws. The vicinity Jesus was coming to would have been viewed as unclean, particularly with the tombs and herds of pigs. Jesus rebuked a demon named Legion who leaves a man, entering a herd of swine who run into the sea and are drowned. With their herd gone the herdsman go to town telling what has happened. People from the town come to see for themselves what has happened. The herd was over two thousand pigs, so it was no small event. The people arrive and see the man who was known as crazy, a different man, sitting, clothed and in his right mind. Rather than being amazed and in awe of God at what happened, they were seized with fear. Their reaction is surprising, “they begin to beg him [Jesus] to leave the district.” It is strange because they seem to realize that if they accept this power, this person Jesus, they cannot remain neutral. Rather than have to deal with the question of who Jesus is and any claim He may have on their lives, they beg Him to leave. They would prefer to have life go on as it is, without any divine interpretation to shake their world.
Jesus is a challenge, once meeting Jesus we cannot remain the same, we must live life for others and not for ourselves. Recognizing the challenge Jesus can bring to life, we too may be seized by fear and beg Jesus to leave us alone. But we shouldn’t, life is better with Jesus.
Do you beg Jesus to leave or stay? Are you able to accept Jesus’ power?Jesus is a challenge, once meeting Jesus we cannot remain the same, we must live life for others and not for ourselves. Click To Tweet
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