“He shouted at the top of his voice, ‘What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!'” (Mark 5:7)
Do read this account of Jesus healing the demon-possessed man. It is likely very challenging for many. Stories about healing are much easier to think about than a demon being recognized by Jesus and begging to be sent into a herd of pigs.
If this passage feels hard to read as anything more than a story, sit with discomfort. There’s a lot to draw out of it.
Let’s talk about the powerful name of Jesus. At a time when it was not widely known that Jesus was the Son of God, we read the spirit called Legion recognized Jesus and named him straight away. Legion knew who Jesus was and the power and authority that Jesus had. The demon did not dispute Jesus’ identity and declared him “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”.
We have access to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as children of God through our baptism. As we celebrated the Sacrament of Baptism in a recent service, we welcomed a little child who can confidently say, “Abba, Father”. Familiar, affectionate words for our Almighty God. Contrast this with the Jewish people who knew God to be so holy and powerful that they could not even say the name of Yahweh (YWH). There was no more power in the name of YWH than in the name of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead. Jesus, who, in his resurrection power, lives in us. The holy God, who is our friend, brother and Saviour!
Today, celebrate the holy, most powerful name of Jesus. Treasure and revere this name. Use it wisely. We can see that even the demons use it. It’s poorly used by many today. However, we have access to our holy and Almighty God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. At his name, the demons flee. We are saved.
Holy God, you are almighty and all-powerful, and everything on heaven and earth is under your authority. Thank you for the authority I have through your Son, Jesus Christ, and in his name. May my use of your name glorify you, bring healing, and set captives free. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.