A man in the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought you my son, who is possessed by a spirit that has robbed him of speech. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth and becomes rigid….
When Jesus saw that a crowd was running to the scene, he rebuked the impure spirit.“You deaf and mute spirit,” he said, “I command you, come out of him and never enter him again.”
Mark 9:17 – 18,
There are many places in the Bible that talk about unclean spirits in people’s bodies. Are we to take these words literally? I think not. To me this was just a way to give an explanation for something that was currently unexplainable. Listening to the symptoms above it seems pretty obvious to us in the twenty-first century that the boy had a severe case of epilepsy and some form of hearing impairment. We in no way associate them with some spiritual being invading the body. Those conditions were just not something that first century people understood.
Being deaf this story and one similar to it in a previous chapter of Mark gets my attention. I’m sure if I lived in these times they would be trying to drive out the evil spirit that was causing me to be deaf. I am also sure that in a couple of hundred years from now they will be startled to hear that I went through the last half of my life without being able to hear since curing my condition will be a simple procedure by then.
Those who insist on taking everything in the Bible as being literal are denying themselves the real messages contained within. They insist that an evil being was present in the above story. By doing that they have to explain how suddenly those spirits disappeared and then become merely health issues. They stubbornly insist on looking at these types of stories with first instead of twenty-first century eyes. God continues to give us revelations about the world daily. One of the most dramatic of current times is DNA. The literalist are commonly known by their basic opposition to almost anything of science but by doing that they are ignoring God’s current messages .. How sad is that?????