This story is one of those encounters that is really hard to explain away. There is no reason why a man with a mental illness would recognise Jesus as God. All the same, it is apparent that Jesus does not want whatever is possessing the man to keep shouting. It’s not time yet for the penny to drop among many of his followers yet! Jesus sees a man who needs help and heals the affliction, releasing the man’s mind and in the process releasing his mouth too!
This retold version of the Bible passage is supplied for inspiration, feel free to omit or embellish to give it your personal voice.
Main Passage : Mark 1:21-28
The time had come. Jesus was ready to begin teaching.
Off Jesus went to the synagogue (the church for the Jewish people), and when it was time for people to speak, he began preaching. The listeners were amazed. Nobody had ever preached like this before. Jesus didn’t tell them all the different viewpoints or mess about with long-winded traditions; he spoke simply, with authority.
But not everyone and everything was happy to see Jesus. A man entered the synagogue who was being controlled by an impure* spirit. When the spirit saw Jesus, he knew exactly who Jesus really was.
The spirit inside the man made him call out:
“What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth?”
What a question! What did Jesus want? Before him he saw a man who was in pain, a man who was being controlled, a troubled man. What do you think God’s heart of love for mankind wanted to do for this man and the spirit who tortured him?
“Have you come to destroy us?” The spirit yelled.
“I know who you are—the Holy One of God!”
Well that was too much from this spirit – Jesus had only just started teaching people. They weren’t ready to recognise that he was The Son of God, the Messiah, the Holy One.
“Be quiet!” said Jesus in a firm voice.
“Come out of him!”
The poor man was shaken so hard as the spirit shrieked and cried out that he fell to the floor. When Jesus reached the man, the spirit had gone. The man was free. The man looked at Jesus without words to thank him. How long had he been imprisoned by the spirit? Jesus had healed him, freed him, given him a chance at life again.
The people were all amazed. Who was this man who taught with authority, who ordered the spirits? Soon everyone had heard of Jesus from Nazareth. Before long, whenever Jesus spoke, a crowd would gather.
*substitute ‘evil’, ‘bad’, or ‘demonic’ if you prefer.