Life can get complicated, dark, and painful.
No matter what you have gone through, and no matter the situation you are facing, there is hope. Jesus can heal you. He can bind up your wounds. He can set you free and restore your life.
In Mark 5, it tells the story of a broken and bound man. From the world’s perspective he was unstable, a mad man, a menace to society, with severe mental illness. According to the Bible, he was possessed by an evil spirit. He was violent and the community around him was fearful of him. They tried protecting the community from him. They even tried to chain him up, but whenever he was put into chains and shackles, he would snap the chains and smash the shackles.
In those days they didn’t have tranquilizers that could have subdued him. He would often wander around among the burial caves and in the hills, and he would let out shrieks and shrills. He also mutilated his own body by cutting himself. All I know is that this man was howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
I don’t know this man’s story. What caused his manic condition? Was it sickness? Was it a bad choice that spiraled out of all control? Was he the victim of abuse? Was it bitterness that consumed his heart due to someone letting him down or taking advantage of him? Did he dabble with demons? Was his condition due to drug addiction? Was it self-inflicted?
All I know is that he was broken, bound, and battered. He hated himself. No one liked him. He was an outcast, a menace to society, the black sheep in his family, and in a very dark place. He was on a one-way track of destruction.
Jesus had been on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Although he had commitments there, he had told his disciples that he needed to get to the region of the Gerasene. While crossing the lake a fierce storm came up. High waves were breaking into the boat, and it began to fill with water. It seemed like the enemy was trying to stop Jesus from getting to this broken man.
In fact, the storm was so bad that his disciples were terrified and thought they were going to drown. Jesus rebuked the wind and the waves. “Silence! Be still!” Then, “Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm.” (Mark 4:39) The disciples asked, “Who is this man? Even the wind and waves obey him!” (Mark 4:41)
Are you in a storm?
Invite Jesus into your boat. You will be safe, even if you are in the middle of a storm if he is in the boat with you. And, know this, Jesus still calms storms today. He can calm your storm.
Jesus sets captives free.
As soon as they arrived on the other side of the lake, and Jesus climbed out of the boat, this mad broken man that the Bible says was possessed by an evil spirit, “ran to meet him, and fell at Jesus’ feet”. (Mark 5:2-6)
Jesus cast the evil spirits out of this bound man, into a herd of 2000 pigs who plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water. (Mark 5:7-13)
With the commotion, the townspeople rushed out to see what had happened. By the time the crowd had gathered around Jesus, “they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid.” (Mark 5:15)
This mad man, who was bound by dark forces, was now sitting peacefully. He was a new person. His demons were cast out. He had a perfect sound mind. Jesus had healed him, radically delivered him, and set him completely free.
This man was no longer a danger to society. No longer was he unstable or causing great anguish and destruction. He was free.
This man wanted to join Jesus in his journey, but Jesus told him, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” (Mark 5:19)
This outcast was reintegrated back into society. He was able to go back to his family. His life was forever changed.
We are told that this once broken, bound, and battered man, had such a great transformation that he became an evangelist who went out “to visit the Ten Towns of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.” (Mark 5:20)
Jesus changes lives. He set this man completely free, and he can set you free too!
Jesus had crossed the lake to get to one hurting broken person. Not even a ferocious storm could stop Jesus. He went all the way, to meet with one hurting person, to set this captive free.
Right after this, “Jesus got into the boat again and went back to the other side of the lake, where a large crowd gathered around him on the shore.” (Mark 5:21)
Upon his arrival, he healed a woman with a life-threatening bleeding disorder, and they raised a dead girl back to life.
Jesus sets free. He can touch your life. Nothing is impossible for him. No situation is too far gone. Jesus sets captives free.
Acts 10:38 tells us that “God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.”
When Jesus started his ministry he quoted this prophetic word, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, for he has anointed me to bring Good News to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord’s favor has come.” (Luke 4:18-19)
He then “rolled up the scroll, handed it back to the attendant, and sat down.” Then he reclaimed, “The Scripture you’ve just heard has been fulfilled this very day!” (Luke 4:20-21)
From this moment on, wherever Jesus went, he brought good news, he healed the sick, set captives free, released the oppressed, and ushered in a time of God’s supernatural favor.
What is your story?
You may have made a bad decision, maybe even years ago, that has put you on a pathway to destruction.
Maybe you were led down the wrong road that put you in bondage. I know of a person who took the wrong road many years ago, and today that one bad choice has left him broken and feeling helpless.
You may have been in the wrong place at the wrong time and experienced trauma or a tragic event that has left you shattered.
Someone may have mistreated you years back, and through no fault of your own, today you are haunted by your past and enslaved to your inner demons.
You may be a victim of abuse that has left you tormented. Someone close to you, who you loved dearly, may have hurt you, and you may feel like you are still held captive by the trauma.
Years ago, you may have been let down or betrayed. You have every right to hold onto the hate, anger, and bitterness, but if you are honest with yourself, you can see how holding onto this offense has poisoned your life and left you in a dark place.
You may be held prisoner to fear.
You may feel so guilty and filled with shame because of something bad you did in your past. This may have kept you in bondage, and you may feel like you are unable to move forward and break free.
You may just be in a dark place, held captive by depression or overwhelmed by worry and anxiety that seems to be eating away at you.
You may have let go of hope. It may feel like the enemy has his claws in you. Today I have Good News for you. Jesus loves you. He can heal your life and he can set you free.
Jesus is still the same today. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
He still sets captives free. He can set you free.
God sees you. He knows the real you. He knows what is up in your life. He wants to touch your life.
“The Lord is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. The Lord is good to everyone. He showers compassion on all his creation.” (Psalms 145:8-9)
Are you lost? Trapped? Broken? Bound? Battered?
The good news is that Jesus “came to seek and save those who are lost.” (Luke 19:10)
Jesus came to set people free who have messed up.
Jesus said, “Healthy people don’t need a doctor—sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners.” (Mark 2:17)
You can come to Jesus.
Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
This mad unstable man, who was bound up by forces of darkness, who was possibly the most demonized man in history, had the freedom to fall at Jesus’ feet, and as he did, Jesus set him completely free and gave him new abundant life.
Today you can call on Jesus.
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13)
Come to Jesus. Surrender your burdens, your hurts, your pain to Him.
He heals the broken and the battered.
“Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” (Psalms 103:1-5)
No matter what you have done, or where you find yourself today, the good news is that you can invite Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.
Jesus paid the full price on the cross for our sin, so that we can be reconnected to God. Even if you have messed up, or fallen away, you can call on Jesus to be your Lord and Savior.
You can call on Jesus right now…
Dear Lord Jesus, I need you. I know that I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe You died for my sins and rose from the dead. I turn from my sins and invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as my Lord and Savior. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
If you want to start or restart your walk with God, click here to pray a simple prayer we have for you.
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