Mark tells us that the central message of Jesus was that the Kingdom of God has arrived through him. This message provokes immediate conflict, and one of the forms this conflict takes in Mark’s Gospel is spiritual conflict with the demonic powers. For many modern Americans, the idea of demonic oppression is lunacy. Yet, I don’t think you can read Mark and conclude that the conflict Jesus has with demons is merely metaphorical. I have personally never seen a demon, but I do know that Christians in other parts of the world have a much wider view of spiritual conflict than most Americans, and I know enough about life to admit that there do seem to be evil forces at work warping and tempting human desires. That said, however, the point of today’s reading is not the reality of evil, but the power of Christ over evil. I find this comforting: Jesus is stronger. Period.
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