As they approached Jesus, they caught sight of the man who had been possessed by Legion, sitting there clothed and in his right mind. And they were seized with fear. Mark 5:15
This short passage comes after a very dramatic story. A young man, who lived out among the tombs, was fully possessed by many demons. The demons identified themselves as “Legion” stating that there were many of them. It’s clear from the story that this man was wild, out of his mind, and fully under the control of these demons.
As the story goes on, Jesus addressed the demons, rebuked them, and cast them out, sending them into a herd of swine. The swine went running down a slope and drowned in the lake. Afterwards, the man was totally transformed as he sat there conversing with others.
One interesting thing to note in this story is that, when the townspeople came out and saw this man sitting there “in his right mind,” they were shocked and “seized with fear.” They did not know what to think about this situation. Why is that?
Perhaps there are a number of reasons. Let’s look at one of them. This young man was so dysfunctional, being possessed by a legion of demons, that the townspeople had written him off. They gave up on him and most likely wanted nothing to do with him. They were afraid of him. But when they saw this man completely transformed, sitting there looking normal and rational, the people didn’t know what to think. They were shocked. And their shock took on a form of fear in that they were afraid of what they did not understand.
This reveals something interesting to us. It reveals that, if we fail to understand the power of God, we will actually find ourselves fearful of His power when confronted by it. The townspeople should have been filled with great joy and excitement at the total transformation of this man. However, instead of great joy and excitement, they were fearful. They were fearful because they did not understand God’s almighty power.
We always need to reflect upon the power and glory of God. He desires to do great things and to bring total transformation to our lives. He desires to cast out the evil one lurking within our world, bringing instead his mercy and peace. As we reflect upon God’s power, we need to allow ourselves to more clearly understand him. If we understand him, we will be more fully ready to rejoice in His good works.