SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31, 2010
WOULD YOU ASK JESUS TO DEPART?
BY ERNEST ONUOHA
TEXT: Mark 5 V 17: “Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave (depart) their region”
As soon as Jesus landed in the region of Gerasenes, he did not waste time but attended to a man with a terrible malady, that of demon possession.
According to the possessed, his name was Legion “for they were many”. His abode was in the tombs. Severally, he was chained being violent, but he set himself free. No one could bring him under control. He cut himself with stones and cried every night and day. This man was seriously under attack by the devil.
Fortunately, his contact with Jesus turned things around for good. No one encounters Jesus and remains the same. The stories of Zacchaeus the tax collector in Luke 19 V 1 – 10 and the woman with the issue of blood, Mark 5 V 25 – 34, are highly instructive. Zacchaeus received salvation thereafter and the woman with issue of blood received permanent healing.
Even today, no matter how bleak, worrisome, challenging the situation may be, an encounter with Jesus changes things.
So the demon possessed was healed but dirty pigs grazing nearby were lost.
Very naturally the men who had been in charge of the pigs went to the town and to the farms with news of this astounding happening. When the curious people arrived on the spot they found the man who had once been so mad sitting fully clothed and in full possession of his faculties. The wild and naked madman had become a sane and sensible citizen. And then comes the surprise, the paradox, the thing that no one would really expect. One would have thought that they would have taken the whole matter with joy; but they took it with terror. And one would have thought that they would have urged Jesus to stay with them and exercise still further His amazing power; but they urged Him to get out of their region as quickly as possible. Why? A man had been healed but their pigs had been destroyed, and they wanted no more of this. They did not know that asking Jesus out is tantamount to asking Him to go with His goodies.
To the people of Gerasenes the routine of life had been unsettled, and they wanted the disturbing element removed as quickly as possible.
No wonder when peoples’ interests are interfered with, they are bound to fight back. It may be an ignoble life style, (womanizing, pushing of hard drugs, gay living) a belief, possessions, it may even be a selfish economic interest or more still a cheap political gain, as long as Jesus interferes with them, people are ready like the Gerasenes to ask Jesus out. Mark 5 V 17: “Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave (depart) their region”.
With the political terrain, some Nigerians may not mind asking Jesus to stay out of it and let them do it their way. Some politicians are desperate. Of course they wouldn’t mind visiting shrines, Babalawos, these things to them are not too strange if only they can win and come back to appease God by their so called thanksgiving in the Church. We are not unaware of the over bloated issue that in politics people struggle for power, whereas, GOD GIVES POWER.
Be very honest this moment to yourself: Have you ever asked Jesus out in your life? What is it in your work or ministry you feel his presence will bring a great discomfort? Are those things you hold dear really of kingdom value?
Let us Pray:
Lord Jesus, come into my
life, do not leave, give
me the power to resist all
emphemeral things of this world,
I make this prayer,
through the same Jesus Christ
our Lord; Amen.
Ven. Barr. Ernest Onuoha
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,