The Exorcist


The story of the unknown exorcist in Mark 9 is set against a background that is at once informative and cautionary. Someone is casting out demons in the name of Jesus, but is not one who belongs to the new movement. The insiders wanted him to remain an outsider and to cease and desist in doing mighty works in the name of Jesus. Jesus says, do not forbid him. His words indicate clearly that when the name of Jesus is pronounced, by whomever it is pronounced, it accomplishes mighty works, wonders and miracles. The power of the name of Jesus is that in uttering it the divine in all its holiness is invoked, called upon and called forth to become present, here and now, for the accomplishment of the mighty work, the miracle. When the name of Jesus is invoked, the divine arrives simultaneously unveiling its miracles and wonders that have already arrived ahead of it. To use the name of Jesus to heal the sick and cast out demons signifies that this unknown exorcist has taken his stance upon that name and rests upon the power that the name bears with its utterance and invocation. To invoke the divine is to summon it forth from its hiddenness, hidden in the brightness of its own glory and its own light. When the divine stands forth everything comes under its Light and is seen for the first time as it really is. To know what one really is, is to know oneself in its broken and fragmented selfhood. Jesus illustrates this by saying if any part of you, hand, foot, eye, stands out as the symbol and demonstration of your brokenness, excise it. Let that alone remain that announces your health and redemption. One can lose a hand, foot, and eye, and be a mighty work of the divine. Jesus informs us that the story is not about insiders and outsiders. It is cautionary, look to yourself as the place of the manifestation of the divine. It is redemptive, saying that by invoking the name of Jesus the stranger revealed the power of the divine, and where that power is revealed, miracles happen.

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