September 1, 2015
The good news for today
In the Caphernaum synagogue there came a man possessed by the attitude of a filthy character; he cried out very loudly, “What is your business with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to finish us? I know who you are–the Holy One of God!” (Luke 4)
Except in movies, on TV and in books, you do not meet “demons” today. What has changed? Did Jesus scare them all away?
In ancient times, a “demon” personalized a nameless motivation that controlled a person; typically a demon was bad, but it could be good. You think alcohol, sex, or money—addictions controlling people.
Here you are told there comes a forceful individual whose “spirit” of an “unclean demon” controls him. Today, you might think of someone like Hugh Hefner, John Kennedy, or someone in your community known for “sleeping around”—an amoral person with a sexual addiction.
The individual here acknowledges the “Holiness” of Jesus—“You are the Holy One of God”—the very Person who, from His earlier words, has been chosen to free people. Here you see an illustration.
On social media, you see men sometimes flaunting their control, superiority, and sexuality; you sense that sex (or power) drives them, rather than being just a part of life. You may know folks so fearful, so trapped in habits, they no longer are Alive to the world around them.
When you look around—sometimes with pity—you see many people controlled by lust, greed, rage, ego and fear—their demons. No longer in control, these people are driven by motives from which they need to be freed. Your “holiness”—your “courageous, humble difference”—is the Good News you bring to such people.