Freedom or Fear

Jesus came to set people free! His purpose is revealed in the liberation of the man possessed by many demons. The man’s liberation set off a chain of events which revealed much about him and those living in that area. Oddly, rather than rejoicing because the man had been healed, his neighbors were filled with fear. Their response reminds us that when we encounter something we don’t understand the result can be one of great fear. In this case, fear prompted the people to request that Jesus leave their area. Ironically, the one who had come to set people free, was being asked to leave because of fear. There must have been many others in that area who were sick, but rather than bringing them to Jesus to have him help them, they asked Jesus to leave them. Their fear drove them to make an illogical decision that would maintain the status quo, rather than seeing transformation take place in their region. On the contrary, John reveals to us in 1 John that perfect love drives out fear. When we encounter Jesus’ love for us there is no place left for fear. However, those who continue to live in fear reveal that they have not yet understood the depth of Jesus’ love for them. The man who had been healed wanted to leave with Jesus, but Jesus instructed him to go to his own family and tell them what God had done for him. This he went on to do. The man was a contrast to his fearful neighbors, since he had experienced Jesus’ love for him. He felt no fear, but told others what Jesus had done for him. In this way he combatted the fear that had filled his neighbors hearts. His presentation of the truth began to overturn the dominance of fear in his region. His example reminds us that when we respond to a fearful situation, we should seek the truth that will overcome the fear. Fear and anxiety in our lives can actually be an opportunity for freedom and victory to take place in that area, if we face it with Jesus and his love.

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