Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A Secret to Submission

Today I was reading through some of the other blogs that I like to follow, and one of them inspired an idea for a post of my own. A friend of mine, Maribeth Jaklik (, has recently shared some reflections in a post called "One Thing." She was writing about the Lord, and she made the statement that "I bow to no one easily, but He levels me."
As I was reading that, I thought about a story from the life of Jesus. Mark chapter 5 tells about a time when Jesus and his disciples encountered a man who needed major help. This man was considered to be a dangerous lunatic. He lived in a graveyard, wounded himself with sharp stones and cried out like an animal day and night. If he were alive today, he would certainly be institutionalized. The people who lived around him had tried on several occasions to restrain him, but he would break the chains and shackles they put on him.
When this man charged toward Jesus, I imagine His disciples were more than just a little concerned. Here was this fierce man who could not be brought into submission, and he was running toward Jesus. They probably expected a violent encounter, but instead, he willingly knelt down before Jesus. He would not be contained by natural means, but there was something different about Jesus, and he voluntarily submitted himself to Him. What was the difference?
Obviously there is no way we can fully define Jesus in one blog post (or even a million), but there was a noticeable difference in how Jesus chose to deal with the man. The locals had tried their best, but their goal was not to help the man, but to contain him. When Jesus saw the man, He looked past his issues and saw the person beneath it all. He did not view the man as a problem, but as someone who needed His help. We do not know what had happened in this man's past that had led to these issues, but he probably had not always been that way. Maybe he had been abused or neglected as a baby. Maybe he had lost his family to an accident. Whatever had happened we do not know.
However, what we do know is that he needed help, and when he looked into the eyes of Jesus, he didn't see someone criticizing him and passing judgement - he saw Someone who loved him and who would help him. If I were in this story, I would probably be one of the people who had tried to chain up this "insane person." How many times do we try to contain someone through natural means for our own security? Have we used intimidation or guilt on someone we perceived as a threat to keep things under our control? Have we given someone the "silent treatment" if we did not get our way? Whatever the case, these natural "chains" don't really bring a true, lasting solution. How might things be different if we approached people and situations in an attitude of love and humility? Jesus was able to bring sincere deliverance to a man by loving him. Love never involves pressure. People do not respond well to pressure, but they do respond to love and humility. As we demonstrate the nature of Jesus, a world that refuses to submit will be leveled by His love that never fails.

1 comment:

  1. I'm humbled by your thoughts,and you are right,it is His Perfect Love that draws men unto Himself.