Bible Reading: Mark 5:1-20
This was a difficult passage to deal with…demons. At first, I tried to find something else, some other theme, to develop. But the Lord kept bringing me back to what the entire passage is about…demons. So then, it was a matter of how to present the truth about demons and how to make it apply to the life of a youngster…my Grandchildren. I think I made it work. Give it a read. What do you think?
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
“Who you gonna’ call? Ghost Busters!” Did you see that movie? (Actually, there have been three of them in the series: 1984, 1989, 2016.) The first one was a comedy about four guys that developed a ray gun that sucked ghosts out of buildings, cars, people…whatever they were in. Then, they put the ghost into a special container…shut the lid…and locked it securely. While people thought it was a good movie and it made a lot of money…there was a problem…at least in the real world…not the Hollywood world…after all, there’s not much that is real in the Hollywood world. So, what’s the problem? There’s no such thing as ghosts.
- Some people think that when you die you become a ghost.
- Some people think that there is another kind of life form that is a ghost.
- Some people think that angels are ghosts.
Sorry. Wrong. There is no such thing as a ghost.
- When a person dies…their body goes into the ground…but their spirit immediately either goes to Heaven, or to Hell…no ghost there.
- There are other life forms…but none that resemble a ghost. You know…looks like a wispy cloud, floats along in the air, makes groaning sounds.
- And angels are not ghosts…they are spirits. By that I mean that they are not part of this physical, material realm that we live in…a place where something can be touched.
Explain that part about angels, please. Okay, here we go. Angels are real, they exist…but, they are part of the spiritual realm…that part of God’s creation that does not have any physical, or material, substance. I know, that’s kind of tough to get your arms around. Hey, that’s it. If you can get your arms around it (touch it, feel it, it has weight and mass, it has substance)…it is part of the physical realm. If you can’t get your arms around it (there’s nothing there to grab hold of)…but it actually exists…then it is part of the spiritual realm. Angels are spirits. God created the angels before He created man and they lived in Heaven, with God. After God created man…some of them rebelled against God. The angels had a leader, his name in Heaven was Lucifer. After he rebelled, God changed his name to Satan. We don’t know exactly why Lucifer rebelled against God…but there are several things in the Bible that give us a good idea. First, Lucifer was one of the most beautiful and intelligent and important angels in all of Heaven. And, he had a high-ranking job…he was the security guard for God. Well, kind of. It was his job to stand in front of the throne of God and greet any angel who wanted to speak with God. Pretty important, huh? At least, that’s what he thought. He was very impressed with himself…beautiful, intelligent, important. He thought that he deserved more recognition than what he was getting. He deserved a better job than what he had. After a while, he wasn’t satisfied with just guarding the throne of God…he wanted to sit on the throne of God, to take over the throne of God…he wanted to be God. He thought that he could do a better job running Heaven than God was doing. That’s one reason why he rebelled. Not good. There was a second reason why he rebelled. God made mankind (that’s people like you and me) so that He could know him and relate to him…but then, mankind sinned. And that sin separated God from man. But God loved mankind so much that He, Himself, became a man (that’s Who Jesus was…God in a human body) in order to die on the cross and pay the price for man’s sin…so that he could have a relationship with God, again. That’s how much God loves mankind (that’s you and me)! That really ticked Lucifer off. He was soooo jealous of mankind. He was soooo jealous of how much God loved mankind. Soooo, he rebelled against God. He would take over Heaven…and he would put mankind in its place.
Now, this is where the angels come in. When Lucifer rebelled against God…he convinced one-third of the angels in Heaven to join him. Not good. You see…while they were powerful beings…they were created beings. God created them. They are not even in the same league as God. No one and no thing is like God. There is only one God. Everything else that exists…was made by Him. So, despite what Lucifer and the angels thought…despite what they intended to do…it just wasn’t going to work. Not good. They rebelled…and God kicked them out of Heaven. Guess where He sent them to…Earth…our world. God sent Lucifer and the angels who rebelled with him to earth. Earth became something like a prison for Lucifer and the angels who rebelled with him. That’s when the name change happened…Lucifer’s name was changed to Satan (he is also called the Devil, same guy)…and the angels were now called demons (sometimes they are called “fallen angels” because they fell away from God). And believe me…even though they have been thrown down to earth…they still have incredible power. So, if you run into one…don’t even think about calling Ghost Busters!
Which brings me to the part of the Bible that we read, today. Jesus ran into a demon. Actually, he ran into a man who was controlled by a bunch of demons. This man had become so involved in evil, he was so corrupt, so bad…that he allowed his life to be taken over by these demons…maybe without even realizing it. Why would demons want to take over a person’s life? For one thing…they hate everything that God loves…and God loves people. So, if they can take over a person’s life and completely destroy it and keep that person from ever knowing God…then they are happy. There’s another reason. Remember, demons are spiritual beings…and yet, here they are, living in a physical world. When demons take over a person’s life…they control him and make him do what they want. By doing that…they are able to interact with the physical world and enjoy some of its benefits and pleasures. Kind of like an astronaut going to Mars…he would put on a space suit so that they can live there. Demons want to live on earth…so they put on a human body so that they can live on earth through that person. So, demons try to take over, to inhabit, to possess (that means to “control”) a person’s life.
Jesus met this man who was possessed by demons…plural…meaning more than one. The Bible says there was a lot of demons in him…a “legion”. The word “legion” comes from the military and it is talking about 3,000-6,000 soldiers. That’s how many demons were in this man. Imagine how much evil that was.
Jesus saw how bad this man’s life was…how miserable all of the demons and their evil had made him. He was so controlled by the evil demons that the people in his village chained him to tombstones in the graveyard. He was a terrible threat to them. He couldn’t live with other people. He was dangerous. He tore his clothes off and he broke the chains and he cried out all night long in misery. Life was awful for him. Life was evil for him.
Then Jesus…well, He did what Jesus does. Despite how evil and how bad the man was…Jesus loved him. Jesus commanded the demons to come out of the man. Get this picture in your mind…one Jesus against 6,000 demons. Jesus told the demons to get out of the man and guess what they did. They cried out…”Please don’t hurt us!” One Jesus…6,000 demons. They didn’t stand a chance. Why? Remember Who Jesus is…God in a human body. The same God who threw the demons out of Heaven…was now throwing the demons out of a man. Now, that is what I call a Ghost Buster. Except…they’re not really ghosts, but spirits…maybe I should say, “Spirit Buster”. Whatever, Jesus busted them but good!
Later, some people…the same people who had chained the man up in the graveyard…showed up. They looked at the man and couldn’t believe their eyes. They almost didn’t recognize him. He was calmly sitting on the ground. He was neatly dressed. And he was no longer a crazy-loco person. And that scared the socks off of them. Why? Because they realized how powerful Jesus really was.
I hope I haven’t scared you by talking about the Devil and demons. That certainly isn’t my intention. In fact, I started to focus on something else in this Devotional. But the Lord kept telling me to talk with you about this. Here is why I think He did that. The Devil and demons are scary stuff. They are real. They are evil, and vile, and corrupt…and just about any other bad word that you can think of. They are powerful. They can possess people and control their life. But…they are nothing…n o t h i n g…nothing compared to God. He made them and at the flick of his finger…He controls them. So think about this: if God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to die for us…and if God is in complete control of the Devil and demons (the most evil, powerful creatures on earth)…is there anything that I should be afraid of? No. Absolutely nothing.
- Whatever there is in your life that is scary.
- Whatever there is in your life that worries you.
- Whatever there is in your life you don’t understand.
- Whatever there is in your life that you can’t figure out.
God is in control of it. He is all-powerful. There is nothing stronger than God. Trust Him. He’s not going to allow anything to hurt you…because He loves you so much. Just call Him. Tell Him what is going on…and He will bust it!
Love you more than bunches and bunches,