Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Demon-Possessed Man: Part 3 - Familiarity

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"What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High G-d? I beg you, don't torture me!" - Luke 8:28

The ending to this verse is interesting to me. Think about it for a second. The demons in this man recognized Jesus in an instant, despite His earthly body (and, let's face it, that's an accomplishment, seeing as our Heavenly bodies would have no reason to look anything like our earthly ones). They knew Jesus, and announced for anyone who would hear who he was, and, yet, they were afraid of Him. It amazes me that they could know his presence so well and, yet, not know Him at all.

How often do we do this?

The demons beg Christ not to torture them. That always shocks me. It makes me wonder - Is there a side to Christ we don't know? Because the Christ I know wouldn't torture even the most annoying mosquito. Sure, G-d is reported as being a G-d of wrath and vengeance, but every time the Bible mentions torture, it's plain that someone other than G-d is doing it. Maybe G-d has allowed it to happen, but it's not His M.O.

So why would the demons feel the need to beg Christ not to torture them?

It occurred to me that perhaps the demons were superimposing their vision of leadership/godliness onto G-d. They had only been presented with one image of leadership, and that was the one Satan provided, so, why wouldn't they assume Christ would act any differently?  If the example of torture was all they'd seen, it would make sense for them to expect Christ to torture them as well.  It's not a perfect analogy, but this scene somewhat reminds me of when Dobby meets Harry in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets:

"Dobby has heard of your greatness, sir, but never has he been asked to sit down by a wizard, like an equal."

The demons are a bit more bold than Dobby, making their request outright, but I think we can see a similar sentiment here.  Both are super-imposing a lesser master's actions onto a greater being, and both end up being incredibly wrong in their assumptions of the greater beings' natures.

Here's the turnaround that you've been anticipating: 

How often do we do this?  How often do we super-impose the actions of our lesser master onto the nature of G-d?

Did you see what I did there?  Did you catch it?

If we are making wrong assumptions about the nature of Christ, I would dare say it's because we don't know Him, because we're serving some other master.

Granted, we're never going to know G-d in His entirety; He is beyond our comprehension, but our spirits commune with His, and they can tell us about the nature of G-d.  They can keep us following Him and anticipating His next move.  They can whisper when something is not of G-d and stir our hearts toward Him.

By listening to our spirits, we will never feel the need to beg Christ not to torture us, for we will know His true nature.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." -Matthew 11:28

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