Have our fears sent Jesus away? -6 observations

25 11 2016

As promised in my prior post, I draw these six observations from the story in which Jesus cast demons out of a man, after which the village asked Jesus to depart because they were afraid (Luke 8:26-39).

  1. Where demons bring fear on one person, they have affected many others as well.  Let’s not imagine the possessed man was an isolated case. This was a society infected with a spirit of fear. The deliverance of the man was needed by many others. So why didn’t many others desire deliverance?
  2. A group of people can be so held by fear that they fear deliverance. I expect some say that the people wanted Jesus to leave so He would not ruin any more herds of swine. This misses a more significant truth. The people were seized with fear. This incident teaches us about spiritual dynamics of fear, as well as Jesus’ response to it.
  3. The beginning of deliverance triggers increased demonic resistance. This is not primarily a story of pigs and villages, but of spiritual conflict taking place on earth. The presence of Jesus stirs up trouble in the demonic world. The demons know they could be cast from terra firma into the abyss by a word from Jesus. We earthlings are that close to the spiritual battle (Lk. 8:31). The demons did not want to be sent out of that area (Mk. 5:10). They clung to hold on to the control they had gained.
  4. The presence of Jesus does not remain where a spirit of fear asks Him to leave (Lk. 8:37). We rightly struggle when rejected for our commitment to Christ. We are burdened by the plight of the lost who are destined for hell. Jesus is very realistic as He encountered rejection of His help. Hr provides us an example. It is a matter of fact that fear eliminates the possibility of seeing God at work. American society, and even Christians, are seized with fear today. No wonder the presence of Jesus is being withdrawn from us.
  5. Those who have been delivered by Jesus are charged to remain as witnesses of His miraculous power. Jesus forbade the man from accompanying Him and instead charged him to stay and proclaim all that Jesus had done. We are not told whether the delivered follower had any positive effect. The point is that Jesus entrusts His witness to those who follow Him.
  6. Jesus was not, and is not deterred by rejection, but brings His word intentionally to resistant cultures and leaves a witness. Jesus was rejected in His home town because people were offended by Him (Lk. 4:28-30). Here, on the far side of the lake, He was rejected because people were afraid of Him. But that did not prevent Him from going there.

Does Jesus withdraw Himself from Christians today, regretfully hearing us protest His deliverance as we cling to our cherished fears?

Do we idolize safety such that we fear the risk of the cross-life? Do we fear disease and extremism such that we have abandoned faith in His power to deliver?

Do we treasure government and medical science to the extent He can do no miracles in our society nor heal our diseases? Do we assess the risk to our livelihood and beg Jesus to leave our possessions undisturbed?


fears cripple

In our next post, we’ll look at what can happen if we invite Jesus to stay and help us with our fears.

[photo credit: christianchat.com]


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29 11 2016
WHAT IF WE WELCOMED JESUS TO CALM OUR FEARS? | Robert E Rasmussen.com

[…] delivering a man from demon possession, and then asked Jesus to leave. We’ve had a first and second post on the spiritual effect of fear. In this post I am wondering: What if the villagers who sent […]

25 11 2016
Have our fears driven Jesus away? (pt 1) | Robert E Rasmussen.com

[…] our fear sending Jesus away? In my next post, I suggest six observations from Jesus’ encounter that may offer some […]

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