We are now leaving the woman at the well example having seen the methods Jesus uses to bring emotional healing to people. These same principles will be seen throughout the gospels:
Acknowledge where you are without judgment or opinion – own it, be in the present. By revelation from God reset your understanding of your history, and entrust Him with the unanswerable questions until you get to heaven. Tell others about the revelation you received and how it has changed you. Make decisions to extricate yourself from the mess you are in. You will feel alone, but God cannot make that decision for you. What did the woman at the well do about man #6? Jesus wasn’t there to make the decision for her – she had to own her life and make wise decisions.
The man with a legion of demons
A Roman Legion in Jesus’ time consisted of 2,000 soldiers, which tells us the man in Mark 5:1-20 and Luke 8: 26-39 had been into heavy sin. Mark 5:2 says he had an ‘unclean spirit’. While that could be used in a general sense of a person having a demon, in context it means a specific type of spirit. In the same way the Bible uses the word ‘brethren’ which is a reference to men and women and even children who believe, in a smaller context it may mean just a group of men.
In context ‘unclean spirit’ refers to a sexually unclean spirit, which explains the man’s nakedness, cutting himself, perhaps the attempts at binding him with chains was initially related to his particular kind of sexual perversion. We don’t know other than the original sin of the man was sexual, and it led to having 2,000 demons in him.
This candid assessment is important to this study of how Jesus heals emotionally, for this man certainly had all sorts of emotional hurt and baggage.
Acknowledge where you are right now
But the man still retained some control, for Mark 5:6 says ‘When he saw Jesus far off, he ran and worshipped Him’. Verse 15 says after Legion and his subordinates were cast out the man was found: “Clothed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, and in his right mind”.
The worship of Jesus was the acknowledgement by this man that he had a demonic problem, even as the head demon started talking to Jesus – it was all there for Jesus to see: He was naked, was bleeding from self-inflicted cuts from rocks, had scars from his cuttings, remnants of chains may have been dragged along – this was the moment the woman at the well had, the moment the person acknowledges where they are before God and everyone. Literally.
Revelation that resets your history
Once again we see no opinion expressed by Jesus about this man and his demonic and sin problem or history. Jesus confronts his history differently than He did with the woman at the well – here He casts the demons out – with the woman at the well He just revealed by words of knowledge that He knew all she ever did. Both cases involved the manifestation of the power of God; words of knowledge in once case, casting demons out in another.
I want you to notice the ease the man felt before Jesus. Clothed, sitting at the feet of Jesus (Luke 8:35), and in his right mind. The revelation that Jesus is God and He made no judgement call on the sins which caused the man to become home to 2,000 demons, caused the man to sit with ease at the feet of Jesus. What do you think he was doing sitting at the feet of Jesus? He was learning. He was hearing teaching that changed his mind about his life, his history, and reset his ideas about his life.
Tell someone about the revelation and change of heart and mind you’ve received
In Mark 5:18-20 and Luke 8:38-39 it says as Jesus and the disciples were getting into their boat to return across the lake, he begged Jesus to allow him to come with Him.
The area of the Gadarenes is known as the Decapollis, the area of 10 Greek cities (deca- ten; polis – city) in what is modern Jordan. It wasn’t a Jewish area and at that time having a Greek disciple ministering to those in Israel about their Messiah just wasn’t an option. So Jesus told him ‘No’.
Think about the emotions this caused the man: “Jesus, I want to follow you!” “No”. Once again, just as with the woman at the well, Jesus leaves the man with decisions to make. They are decisions he alone would have to make, Jesus wasn’t going to make them for him.
“Return to your own home and to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had compassion on you. And he left and went throughout the Decapolis telling everyone what Jesus had done for him, and all men marveled.” Mark 5:19-20
Think through this man’s history and emotions for the Lord does the same today with us
Jesus told the man to first go home, and then to his friends. Peter said in I Peter 4:10: “As everyone has received the grace, so give that grace to others, for you are now stewards of the (various forms) of the grace of God.”
The man had decisions to make that involved him returning home to family and friends and rebuilding his life. The woman at the well didn’t move out of her community because she had a tough decision to make with man #6 – would they get married or break up? The man delivered of Legion wasn’t allowed by the Lord to pick up and move where no one knew him. Like the woman at the well the Lord made him own up to his past and learn from it, and rebuild his life with right decisions where he lived.
In both cases thus far we’ve seen the Lord bring emotional healing to people using the same methods – and He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He hasn’t changed. SO many Christians lie when they say ‘God is leading me’. That isn’t God, it is their weak spine talking, their distaste for making hard decisions all on their own. They hide behind spiritual platitudes and emotional reasoning that are half-truths that lead to an appearance of progress but which will be revealed to be nothing more than window dressing to their lives within a few months.
Romans 12:2 flat out states how to change your life – how to undergo in the Greek a metamorphosis – ‘renew the mind’ while making your body a living sacrifice to God. Period. You have to change your thoughts in order to change your mind. That means you have to change your emotions. God and you acknowledge where you are, refrain from making judgements, take a step of faith letting some things be unanswered until you get to heaven, reset your understanding of your own history by learning His perspective on it, share what God is doing, and then rebuild your emotions and life.
In part 1 of this series I brought out Isaiah 40:2-4 which said the Lord will not fail nor be discouraged until He has set justice in (your) earth. This is how He does that setting of justice – He sends us right back to where we are, which we’ve already acknowledged, but with new life – and then leaves us to our decisions as He watches. IF we make wise decisions in Him, He is able to set justice in our life – balance, righteousness, godliness – justice. If we make wrong decisions, He will be there again to repeat the attempt at a healing process in our emotions…some people go around and around that mountain and never learn. Others like these 2 examples above, learned.
Another example next week…are you starting to see a pattern in your own life?
Until then, blessings,