Jesus is in the House!
In our reading from Mark’s gospel Jesus encounters a man with an unclean spirit. In ancient times, mental health issues were often identified with spiritual possession. Something wasbelieved to “take over” a person’s psyche, imprisoning them by forces greater than themselves. While we cannot rule out spirit possession, we know that we are possessed by many things that need to be cast out. Virtually all of us have behaviours that we struggle with that are large and small.
We know often what’s best for us, but often also succumb to temptation. Like the man in the story, we need assistance from an energy and wisdom greater than our own.
In today’s reading, the unclean spirit is more perceptive than the synagogue audience or Jesus’ first followers. The unclean spirit clearly knows who Jesus is, and the nature of Jesus’ power. Was the unclean spirit recognizing Jesus as a threat or was there something in the spirit’s make up that was seeking healing and wholeness?