Skip to content
10/12/2011 / Kaitlin Zhang

What did the Unclean Spirit say?

This is a Guest Post by Mr. Chaitanya.  A devotion on Mark 1.

Mr. Chaitanya hails from India, and is currently doing his doctoral studies at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA. He is interested in ecological ethics – more specifically, the interconnections of ecojustice and social justice. He is currently serving as a member on the Theology Working Group of the Student Christian Movement of USA.

Mark 1: 23, 24: Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, ‘What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.’

This incident took place in Capernaum after Jesus taught at the Synagogue. It seems as if Mark wants to say that the one on whom the Spirit descended (v.10) has the power over the unclean spirits. Whether one believes in the spirits in the present day or not; or, whether one believes that one can be “possessed” by a spirit or not, the spiritual, not just the physical, dimension of healing has to be taken seriously even in today’s world. This falls in line with the definition of health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity,” offered by the World Health Assembly in 1948.

The unclean spirit in the above quoted text ask: “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” This is a clear question of purpose. “Have you come to destroy us and restore this man? Are you here to destroy the evils in this world and to restore health instead?” were the implicit questions of the unclean spirit.

What the unclean spirit asked Jesus some two thousand years ago still remains valid even today.

Perhaps, the unclean spirits knew the right questions. In fact, we could also ask the same question, even more personally: “What have you to do with me, Jesus?” Jesus has something to offer to everyone – the message of love, peace, restoration, abundant life for all, obedience to God even unto death, salvation, and much more. But all in vain, until we understand that he has something to do with us. Unless we open ourselves up and vulnerably ask: “what is that you want to do with me, Jesus?” nothing would come out of us. Seasons come and seasons go untouched until we become vulnerable and open to God.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: