by BCBP Editor


Scripture: Mark 5:1-20

This scripture passage in Mark 5:1-20 presents us with a man in a miserable and frightening condition, possessed by hundreds of unclean spirits. Into this zone of unimaginable darkness, beyond the control of any human power, Jesus boldly enters. The evil spirits are terrified of the light, but the man throws himself at Jesus’ feet and offers him homage. With a word, Jesus sends the horde of demons into a herd of swine, in which the spirits continue their wicked work of self-destruction. But the man is free “fully clothed and perfectly sane”, clothed in grace, with his mind and heart enlightened and purified.
unclean spirits
We do not face exactly the same spiritual struggle as the possessed man, but we all have our share of unclean spirits.

–Instead of hiding among tombs, we linger in the attitudes of the culture of death.
–Instead of smashing chains and handcuffs, we rebel against self-discipline and resist rightful authority.
–Instead of screaming and gashing ourselves with stones, we abuse our bodies and minds with unhealthy lifestyles: overeating, wasting time on useless, senseless or silly entertainment, neglecting the exercises we need, subjecting ourselves to drug and/or alcohol habits.

Every sin originates from excessive love of self. When we sin, we eliminate concern for the good of others, and we blot out the question of what God may want. Any form of sin is evidence of the influence of some unclean spirit or another. The unclean spirits that often tempt and torment us can manifest themselves as pride, jealousy, greed, insensitivity to the needs of others, lust and sensuality. They are certainly at work in the strife and divisions that plague our marriages and our families.

But if this possessed man can be set free, so can we! The way to freedom is to run to Jesus and prostrate ourselves before him. “If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and truth has no place in us. If we acknowledge our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from every wrongdoing.” –1 John 1:8-9

Reflection/Discussion Starters

 What “unclean spirits” in my life have I experienced or am experiencing at this time?
 After reflecting on this article, what do I intend to do about the unclean spirits in my life?
 When have I felt the powerful action of Christ in my life?

Reference: Pondering the Word The ANAWIM Way, Meditation of February 3, 2014.

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