“What do we do with him?” His family wondered if there was any way to handle their son that wouldn’t result in him hurting himself or somebody else. “He really is a nice boy if you get to know him,” they would argue as he would terrorize complete strangers. As time progressed, the boy turned into a man, but the fits and episodes only increased.
After his parents passed away, there was no one to take care of him, so the rulers of the synagogue became the only ones gracious enough in all of Galilee to care for a maniac. He was disruptive, but he couldn’t help himself. For as long as they could remember, this was the way he acted.
That is until Jesus showed up. It was the Sabbath and all the people gathered into the synagogue to hear the teaching of one of the Rabbis. Today, Jesus taught, and it was like nothing they had ever heard before. Many of them knew Jesus. He was Joseph’s son. Nothing special. But here recently he had begun to preach more often. And today, as he stood in the synagogue, he preached with authority, as though instead of growing up in a carpenter’s home, he had been trained by one of the Pharisee guilds.
“LEAVE US ALONE!!!” The shrill cry pierced the synagogue. Everyone who had been listening intently to Jesus was jarred by the disruptive scream of the maniac. “WHY DID YOU COME HERE!!!?! TO DESTROY US? JESUS, I KNOW YOU ARE COME FROM GOD!!!” The soul-piercing shrieks of the maniac left everyone in the synagogue obviously shaken. As the synagogue leaders rose from their seat of prominence to handle this disturber, Jesus stepped forward un-phased.
With fiery eyes of intention, the Master engaged the dark forces that bound the maniac, “Stop.” “Stop it!” “Get out of him!!” In an instant the maniac fell to the ground convulsing and screeching. “AAAAAAHHHHH!!!” And he was released. A liberated man lay where only before a hopeless, desperate slave had lain.
The amazement of the worshippers that day would be recounted time and time again. “How did He speak with such authority to the demons?” “Why did they listen to Him?” “What is so special about Him?”
He had begun to reveal Himself. He was one with unusual power. It was not a show. It was not for entertainment. He was here to save the world. He was here to release mankind from the dark bondage that sin and Satan had been enslaving them in for thousands of years. He had come to banish darkness, and no demon-laden maniac would thwart that purpose. Jesus of Nazareth had begun his ministry.
Food For Thought: Read Isaiah 35. What phrases give a glimpse of the Jesus we see in Mark today?