My reading today took me to Mark 5- Jesus heals the Gerasene Demoniac, and Acts 16-Paul and Silas in jail.
Eventually, I’m going to write about God as female, but right now spirit is leading me to these passages. Women are theologians too, and I’m going to give a quick exegesis on these passages in a way that is relevant now.
Mark 5: A man is living among the tombs and no one could restrain him. (Jewish tradition tombs and anything associated with the dead are regarded as impure). This man knew who Jesus was; the wrong spirit can say the right thing. Jesus asks his name. This is revealing Jesus has the authority. The demon reveals his name is Legion, a Roman military term.
The principality has a name, and now it can be cast out. But, the spirit asks to go into the swine instead of the country, and Jesus gives permission for this to happen. The herd (around 2,000) rushed down the steep bank and are drowned in the sea.
Think of the swine as the Roman economy. It tanked, going down a steep bank, and this is what upsets people. They see the man in his right mind and healed, but they don’t care about that. They preferred him as Legion, and were comfortable with it, bc the economy. They send Jesus away: Go Home! But now this man is healed and his message goes to the Decapolis and everyone is amazed. The exploitive economy may have tanked, but people who never heard the good news are now hearing it. This is what it’s like when good news breaks through earthly empire.
Acts 16: A slave-girl is following Paul and Silas around. She makes her masters a great deal of money fortune-telling. She cried out these men are “slaves of the Most High God”. She knows who they serve. The wrong spirit can say the right thing. They tried to ignore her, but after so long, Paul got annoyed and ordered the spirit out of her in the name of Jesus Christ. And it came out of her.
Now her owners are pissed. Their hope of making money is gone, and they seize Paul and Silas. They bring them to the magistrates and talk about what these “outsiders”, also mentions they are Jews (xenophobia), are doing. They are advocating customs unlawful for Romans to adopt. (All bc they lost money. They did not bring them in bc of what they were preaching. They messed with the economy). Paul and Silas are thrown in jail.
God designed the world with human freedom. But the world is designed with constraints. God has limits; typically 400 years. Genesis 15:13
Are we going to be upset someone is healed? Or that an exploitive economy has to be reimagined?