Mark 5: 14-17 “Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man – and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.”
What will you do once the miracle has happened?
- Those who had lost what they were responsible for immediately reported it to as many people as possible, “We have lost every pig, but it wasn’t our fault!”
- Those who had seen it told their eye-witness stories and they were popular for a while.
- Those people of the town who had come out to see the miracle, closed it all down, the show was over, this was not going to happen again, it was their decision and one that Jesus agreed to, he still does.
But there is a word within these verses that stands out to us today: “… dressed …”
The disturbed naked man now has clothes on. He is dressed for the first time in a long time. He was naked because of his possessed-life; it was a consequence of his bigger problem. The town in all their different responses saw this man dressed in a way they hadn’t seen before. Where did he get these clothes from? More importantly who got him the clothes?
I can only think Jesus on setting the man free then insisted that he was provided for in the way of clothes. Maybe the disciples were sent into the town to buy clothes. However it happened, he was provided for. Here is the partnership of the divine and humanity. If the man had only received clothing and no miracle then they would have become rags sure enough.
Yesterday I spent a few hours in an Indian slum. You have to walk around a slum to fully take in the depth of it, for it is another world from the one most of us have known. There is much spiritual darkness there, it is a dangerous place and the people seem to be far away from the miracle of Jesus. Yet God has His church there and they are offering children an education, youth cell groups are scattered around the slum and the church has grown from zero to 750 people in 25 years. Many are finding their miracle of Jesus, their lives are changed and they are being dressed with respect, dignity and humanity. Last night those children and young people, hundreds and hundreds of them gathered together, a mixture of backgrounds of Hindu, Muslim and Christians for a gospel musical programme where there was dancing, drama, songs and honour given to the miracle-worker, Jesus Christ. The children were dressed like any other child would be not living in a slum. Hope, love and joy were in their eyes. The light was shining brightly. All over the world the same amazing story is taking place. The one thing that amazes me is what the Spirit is doing across this world. The miracle of Jesus is being found by many disturbed people and the Church is dressing them and may we continue to do so wherever we are today.