Matters of Faith: ‭Healed and Delivered

‭”Healed and Delivered”
by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv.

Mark 5: 1-6 (TLB)

“1-2 When they arrived at the other side of the lake, a demon-possessed man ran out from a graveyard, just as Jesus was climbing from the boat.

3-4 This man lived among the gravestones and had such strength that whenever he was put into handcuffs and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the handcuffs from his wrists and smashed the shackles and walked away. No one was strong enough to control him. 5 All day long and through the night he would wander among the tombs and in the wild hills, screaming and cutting himself with sharp pieces of stone.

6 When Jesus was still far out on the water, the man had seen him and had run to meet him, and fell down before him.” 

Every year around this holiday and holy-day season, I am drawn to this scripture. In fact, a couple of weeks ago I mentioned in one of my articles the malady known as SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. It is a seasonal depression that affects over a half-million Americans annually, not counting the number of people who suffer from ADHD, ADD, autism, post-traumatic stress disorder, schizophrenia, or one of the many other psychological disorders that grip countless others all year round. 

In our text, we are introduced to a man who was demon-possessed and who lived in a grave yard. Matthew Henry’s Commentary says that the ”devil got possession of him, and the effect of it was not, as in many, a silent melancholy, but a raging frenzy; he was raving mad.” What’s interesting here is that the behavior and supernatural strength of this demonically possessed man are some of the same symptoms and behaviors people today demonstrate who have disorders that are identified using modern medical technology. Many of those disorders can be treated and even controlled with psychotherapy and/or medications, but those of demonic origins are not so. According to the text, they (demons) will respond and submit to the power and the authority of Jesus Christ. 

My first real full-time job was at a state mental institution. While I served in several positions during my tenure, including representing my fellow employees as a union deligate, the one position that proved to be the most educational, the most enduring, and the most compelling was that of Mental Hygiene Therapist Aide. It was a position I never desired, but it turned out to be an experience that would impact every aspect of my life from then on. What I saw and what I learned was astounding. I met patients who were more intelligent, creative, intuitive, and reasonable than anyone I have met before or since. In most cases, what made them insane while I was sane was just one little straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. I discovered that the idiom “There but by the grace of God go I” was based on reality that I could now plainly see. 

What I am saying is that there are many among us who are suffering from one of the many forms of psychological disorders that are identifiable through modern technologies, and others who are suffering from the demonic. Each one of us, either directly or indirectly can play a role in changing their lives regardless to the type of malady they are enduring. I would suggest that we be particularly observant during this season of giving and sharing love. Where we can introduce them to Christ that they may be set free from their spiritual torment, let us do so with enthusiasm. Jesus was more than willing to heal the Gadarene Demoniac, and he is more than willing to heal any of our sisters and brothers; “Then Jesus spoke to the demon within the man and said, ‘Come out, you evil spirit’” (vv. 7-8). Where there are people suffering from issues that can be addressed through modern technology, we need to be equally as zealous to get them the help they need. 

The Lord expects that we do what we have been equipped to do, and leave the rest to Him.     

God Bless

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at626-226-1448.  

Print Friendly, PDF & Email