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“My Name Is Legion” – Part 5

“Resist the Devil and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7

So what does all this mean for the Church?  If “Legion” is still present and active in the world around us (and they are), and if “Legion” is destroying life through oppression and possession (and they are), and if Jesus has the power to break the grip of “Legion” (and he does), then what is our role–as followers of Jesus–in breaking “Legion’s” hold on those around us?

Early in Jesus’ ministry, he organized his disciples in groups of two and sent them out into the community, giving them instructions to announce, “the Kingdom of Heaven has come near,” and giving them authority over impure spirits (Matthew 10:1, 7-8).  Jesus’ disciples were sent out to continue and expand the ministry of Jesus.  Following Jesus’ resurrection, his disciples were again instructed to go out to be his witnesses in the world.  Filled with the Spirit, the early church took the good news of the kingdom to the streets, bringing healing and deliverance to those held captive.

The gospel work is not finished.  Like the early church, Jesus gives us authority to break “Legion’s” chains and announce good news to the oppressed and the possessed.  Filled with the spirit, we are sent into the streets to dance upon injustice and sing songs of deliverance.  We sing, “There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain.” We sing, “There’s an army rising up.”  We are the resistance army that is rising up in the name of Jesus.  We rise up and enter the places of death and the places under the control of the destructive powers of “Legion” and boldly name the demons holding people captive.  We name the controlling forces that are robbing people of life–economics of greed and inequality, policies of control and suppression, white supremacy, state-sponsored violence.  We name them and we cast them out.  We name them and announce “Shalom!” in their place. We name them and we restore those who have been bound to community and purpose.  And then, together “resisting the devil,” we will become holy and whole.

“I hear the chains falling!  I hear the chains falling!”

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