Scripture Mark 5:1-5
They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
- Mark continues to focus on the forces of evil
- This man has supernatural strength: breaks binding, chains, irons on his feet
- Man also lives among the dead
- Harms himself due to this evil presence
In his fictional but incredible take on Adam and Eve Perelandra, C.S. Lewis’s protagonist observes:
“on the surface, [there were] great designs and antagonism to Heaven which involved the fate of worlds: but deep within. . . was there, after all, nothing but a black puerility, an aimless empty spitefulness . . .”
At its heart, evil is nothing but destruction, blackness, the ultimate antithesis of all that is good, and light, and life.
The man who lived among the tombs illustrates this so well. Afflicted with and controlled by a demonic presence, he lives among the dead and not the living. Just as he is unable to be bound by physical restraints he is also unable to live among the constraints of human society and of his faith. He also is self-destructive and probably would have lived a much shorter and certainly hellish existence apart from this deliverance.
Evil cannot endure because, at its core, it is empty and puerile as Lewis observes. It cannot sustain life let alone enhance or give it. It is an empty shell of a promise that leads to nothing. Jesus, however, offers something just the opposite.
Lord, all around me I see that evil and wrong destroys and does not create. It ends and never begins. It kills and never births. Even when it seems to bring pleasure it is only in the way it corrupts and twists the good. Remind me today that Christ will triumph over Satan, that through his continued intercession and ministry that good will trump evil. Amen.