I WAS THAT MAD MESSENGER (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37).
I would like you to meet a mad man. Yes, I was a crazy man. Everybody, in Capernaum, knew that I was out of my mind. At least that is what the people thought of me. My family had dragged me to the priests and leaders of the Synagogue to cast out some demon in me. As you might guess, they were not very successful. My demon just did not budge. They did not have the power they claimed they had. But I was harmless so they let me wander the streets and market places. From time to time, I visited the synagogue and listen to their teachers and leaders. The demon, in me, did not fear these good people. He regarded them as religious fakes. I presume that some of the people regarded me as normal. I could enter a conversation and be rather pleasant. I had days when I excelled. Some times my demon was like an angel. Of course, when some one disagreed with me and called me crazy, I did not like it. Still, I would not reciprocate or retaliate. Those were the times when I behaved more appropriately than some of our outstanding citizens.
Lately, there were new things happening. A new teacher had come to Capernaum. His very presence made my spirit tremble. There was talk that this Jesus from Nazareth could do things ordinary humans could not. My spirit began to urge to meet this Man. We knew the kind of people that were attending this synagogue and my spirit and I knew that Jesus did not fit in. Everybody, including me, knew that I was no good, but some of these people, they did not even know they needed help. My spirit and I decided to go and disrupt the service. It was our mission not to let God’s messenger into our community. We liked the way it was. My demon did not want to have Jesus make waves. All we had to do is tell these people that He is the Son of God and they would take Him out of town and stone Him. In their religion, the worse of all offenses was to be identified with their God. The mission, of my demon, was to hinder Jesus from carrying out His mission. It was to make people good or better again. What my spirit did not know was that my demon was no match for Jesus. He knew exactly in what person that spirit lived. It was Jesus who was disrupting my demon’s world.
When my demon and I took our place among the audience, we felt this strange but very powerful breeze blowing our way. The man Jesus was unbelievable. He taught with such authority as if He were God himself. He was stunning and swaying the people His way. None of their experts on the law had ever spoken with such conviction and persuasion. The people were so enamored by Jesus that they did not even notice that a mad man was in their midst. Then, just as Jesus was about to reach His climax, my spirit cried out, “What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are; the Holy One of God!” Whoops, that was a slip of the tongue. What my spirit wanted to say first, came out last. He wanted to draw attention to Jesus, but ended up pointing to me. I was not exactly an instrument that was credible. Who would possible believe a mad man? And I was not a man bad enough to protect my demon. I had to be willing to keep him. But when I met Jesus, I recognized my chance to be rid of my demon forever. I wanted to be normal like the rest of the people. Even though I was mentally weak, I was sick nevertheless of the demon’s evil probing. He always made me see the bad in others. He was a master of casting doubt and fear over normal and good things. He had his last hold on me and his attempt to discredit Jesus made Jesus even greater.
Jesus, in an overpowering command, said to my demon, “Be quiet and come out of him!” Suddenly, the demon was not that peaceful spirit he had pretended to be. He was no longer an angel in disguise but a tempestuous monster. He did not want to leave my body. He began to tare and throw me about. He shook me violently and shrieked like a herd of pigs being roasted alive. Now everyone could see what the demon is really like and what he will do to a human being. Beware of the demon that appears quiet and polite. When he is ordered to give up a human being, he will disclose is demonic nature and make such a fuss that other humans will not dare have someone exorcise him. I never realized how powerful this demon was. By myself, I would never have been freed from this emissary of Satan. I am very fortunate that Jesus saw the demon in me and ordered him out of my life. No ordinary man shall be able to take on even the smallest of demons. The demon requires the help of a person who is delegated by God to overpower over demons. Above all things, I learned that demons are not visible in public. If you had met me on the street you would not have recognized that there was an evil spirit in me. But if you had lived with me for a spell, you would have noticed that the demon kept me away from things that had to do with God, my soul, and eternity.
The display of power over my demon raised Jesus rapidly to fame. News about my delivery from this evil monster spread like a wildfire. Those who were witnessing what had happened to me were astonished at the authority Jesus had over evil spirits. We had heard about prophets and priests perform rituals with anointing and prayers to cast out demons, but never by a command that an evil spirit obeyed instantly. Even when he tore me apart, Jesus kept me from being injured. When it was all over, there was not a scratch on me. With the demon went my madness and now, thanks to Jesus, I was the man who knew first had hand what it meant to be free of being a dual personality. Now, I was in control of my life and not my demon.