What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth?
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. Mark 1: 24
There is an interesting phenomenon that we see and hear in the Gospels but especially in Mark: demons/evil spirits recognize Jesus immediately as the Son of God. Why can it be so hard for the rest of us to know Jesus, to know and see our Lord and Savior, when we experience Him in the world, in other people, or in ourselves?
When I had my recent “procedure” the care that my family took of me, their gentleness, kindness, and patience as I recovered, was an extraordinary presence of Christ to me. I didn’t necessarily see it at the time. But how does seeing goodness and grace in the world as a sign and symbol of Christ make a difference? The light of Jesus Christ splinters the darkness of the world, the depravity of violence and power-grabbing leaders but it is our willingness to see things as they really are that actually makes the difference. WE must sometimes name evil, in the name of Jesus, if said evil is to lose its power. We often understand what evil looks like because, in Christ, we know what its opposite is.
We must also remember that evil knows Jesus when it sees it. Goodness and hope is always going to be attacked by some who see it as a threat to their own agenda. We may not like to use words like evilbut, if we are tuned into the world, we know that it exists. Jesus did not eradicate evil by naming it, challenging it, preaching against it, or by dying at the hands of it. But he showed us what evil was by the way He lived, died, and rose again and, in those same actions, He showed us who He was: The Son of God. How can we name the evil in the world, in our own day, in our own lives, by speaking the Name of Jesus? What does the name of Jesus imply? Love, in the end, but more than love only. The loving name of Jesus represents a force that can dispel the darkness, if we have the courage to shine the light of Christ into the dark places in our world. “Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are,” says the demon in Mark 1. Jesus does not answer but orders the demon to leave. That is what the love of Jesus can do.