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Mark 065 - Juicy Story

Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

Mark 5:14,15

One thing you can’t control is a good, juicy, story. You might try to hold it inside, but it feels like you’re going to bust. You try hard at first, but then you start to let little things slip. A word here. A comment there. You let a little tidbit slipout, just to get people interested until they beg you for all the sleazy details.

You can try your best but trying to control this kind of story is like trying to hold paint in your hands. No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, paint is going to leak and spill all over the place.

The men responsible for the pigs weren't trying to control anything. They were so upset that they told everyone. Maybe they thought that the more people hear about it, the less likely they would get fired. Or worse yet, thrown in jail. After all, they had totally failed at watching the pigs, keeping them safe.

If you’d heard a story like this, you’d immediately drop everything to see it for yourself. The people in town naturally went to see what happened. But when they arrived, they were stunned. The pigs were dead just like they had been told. There were plenty of dead pigs still in the water and washed up on shore. But there was no blood, none of the normal evidence of a slaughter.

The scene matched the pig herders’ story about the pigs. But something was radically different. Something, or rather, someone was very different. They were shocked that the well-known demoniac was completely different. He was sitting quietly, not running all around while he yelled and shrieked. He was also clothed, implying previous nakedness. What were they afraid of?

· First of all, they were afraid of what they weren’t seeing. They were used to seeing this guy running around, uncontrolled, and unclothed[1].

· Secondly, they were afraid of what they were seeing. Everything was different. This guy was sitting down, acting like a normal, controlled person, and he was clothed.

While the change in his being clothed was impressive, the thing that really shocked them was the change in his behavior. He was in his right mind. His actions, his movements, his words were controlled. He was no longer an uncontrolled crazy man, but he was sitting there like any normal guy would, like any normal guy should.

When they came back, they didn’t just look like a casual observer, someone just passing by. No, they looked, and looked, and looked. They couldn’t believe their eyes and tried to find out why he was so different.

Yes, he had on clothes, and that was a good thing. But that wasn’t the big thing. The really big thing was how he was so different as a person. His actions, his words, his appearance, his whole character had changed.

But what was the cause for this radical change, this tremendous transformation? The only possible answer wasn’t a what, but a who. Jesus. Jesus, who had let the demons go into the pigs, was there. He was the source of the change. The source of the power. The source of their amazement.

When it comes to bringing sanity back, the answer starts and ends with Jesus. When it comes to somehow living in this crazy, mixed-up world, it starts and ends with Jesus. When the pressures of this life just want to push you off a cliff, the answer starts and ends with Jesus.

This once naked, screaming, crazy guy was transformed in a moment by Jesus. This makes us want to jump up, shout with joy, and praise God for this powerful, once-in-a-lifetime miracle. But that was someone else. Yes, it was powerful, but it wasn’t personal.

When was the last time you let Jesus close enough to see the demons in your life? When was the last time you let Jesus see the nakedness of your secret sins?

This guy was hiding nothing. We try to hide everything.

Isn’t it time to drop our guard with God? Isn’t it time to stop pretending with God? If he’s who he says he is, then he sees it all. There is no real reason or logic in trying to hide anything, because he already sees it.

But there is power, release, and relief when we stop pretending. God doesn’t look at us and see a juicy story. No, he looks at us with loving compassion. He leans into us to love us.

Will we let him in?

[1] Luke 8:27

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