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Legion (Mark 5)

By giving us the extreme case of Legion, Mark assures us that we all fall within the boundary of Christ's caring power. Immediately after taming a wild sea, Christ tames a wild man. This is not just a tall tale. Legion is the picture of Satan's finished product, the destruction of the image of God in man. The power of Christ triumphed in the case of Legion. Legion is any of us, all of us.

Legion Faces Jesus

Legion faces Jesus as a rejected man. He was probably rejected from childhood and by the whole community. He was rejected by his past that haunted him and by the diagnosis of those around him. Finally he rejected himself in despair. The door by which the demonic entered his life was rejection.

Legion was the object of negative solutions. His keepers could do nothing but confine and restrict him. There has been little improvement on this approach. For life's worst cases, we still offer only negative and confining solutions.

Legion faces Jesus as a divided man. Part of him wants to fall down before Christ and worship. Another part of him desires to run from Christ. Legion both hated and loved himself as he was. This is the problem of all of us.

Jesus Faces Legion

Jesus faces Legion as an accepting person. This is noted in the simple asking for a name. Jesus asked Legion his name so that Legion could own who he was. You cannot disown what you have become until you own what you have become. Legion had to admit that he was full of division, which his name suggests.

Jesus gave Legion a positive solution. Calmly, Jesus says, "Be gone!" As the evil element in Legion's life frightened the swine, they jumped into the sea. Legion needed to see that. He needed to know that God's forgiveness was as big an event as his sin. Often we make sin and guilt a bigger event than the grace of God's forgiveness.

Jesus faces Legion as a whole person. Because of Christ's power, a divided man became whole. Yet, when Legion became whole, the people around him were more afraid of him than when he was a divided demoniac. They invited Jesus to leave out of the fear of His wholeness.

Christ does not come to make us "a little better." He comes with awesome power to restore life to its wholeness. That part of Legion that wanted to come to Jesus ultimately overcame that part which wanted to run from Jesus. What about you?

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