Log in  \/ 
x
or
x
x

Sermons

Welcome video:

Songs:

Duration:24 mins 43 secs

Introduction

It is interesting to note the similarities between the calming of the storm and the demon possessed man:

  • The storm in Mark 4 is a natural storm while the storm in Mark 5 is personal and spiritual.
  • Jesus rebukes the wind and the waves and He rebukes the evil spirit
  • Both events end in fear of Jesus leave people amazed!

Mark 4:41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Mark 5:15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

Mark 5:20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

We will follow the story of the deliverance of the demon possessed man in 7 simple steps:

Summary: The 7 steps of the story:

  1. Jesus and the disciples arrive at the shore after the storm.
  2. Jesus is confronted by a demon possessed man.
  3. The evil spirit recognize Jesus.
  4. Jesus speaks to the evil spirit.
  5. The Incident with the herd of pigs
  6. The response of the pig herdsmen
  7. The restored demon possessed man.

1. Jesus and the disciples arrive at the shore after the storm

Mark 5:1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.

After the storm the boat came to rest on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. The region of the Gerasenes is probably close to modern Kersa, where within a short distance there is a steep slope and with caves which were used as tombs.

The region of the Gerasenes is part of a wider region known as the Decapolis. 'Decapolis' literally means 'Ten Cities' that were in league with one another.

It was a Gentile region. This is the first recorded occasion Jesus visits a Gentile region.

  • The presence of pigs authentic this detail: swine were unclean to the Jews.

2. Jesus is confronted by a demon possessed man

As Jesus is getting out of the boat, he is confronted by a man with an unclean spirit who came from the tombs.

Mark 5:2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

Mark is at pains to emphasise the scale of the problem facing the demon possessed man and hence the corresponding scale of the miracle Jesus performs.

Mark 5:3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.

The account is so vivid and unimaginable as to be true, presenting again a strong case that the story rests on the recollection of someone who was there.

One can feel the suffering of the community involved in this tragic scene.

The man caused disturbance to the local community. The Local people were distressed by his madness and perhaps concerned for their own safety. He was a frightening man. No one could restrain or subdue him, even though the community had often attempted to overpower the man by chaining him hand and foot - but they were unsuccessful to capture this frightening man.

With superhuman strength he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet.

Mark 5:4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.

To deliver this man from the grip of Satan would require supernatural divine power

The man was in great distress himself.

Mark 5:5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

This must be one of the most lamentable accounts of human wretchedness in the Bible. He lived among the tombs in the hills, and night and day his cries could be heard as he cut himself with stones.

Jesus addresses the spirit, asking, 'What is your name?'

Mark 5:9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

Initially Jesus called him 'you evil spirit', but now he demands to know his name. The unclean spirit obediently replies, 'My name is Legion ... for we are many.'

A Roman 'legion' had about 6000 soldiers; the one spirit speaks for many.

This further reveals something of the greatness of the man's own inner pain and sense of dislocation. We can readily imagine the sense of helplessness of the man to live in this deranged state.

3. The evil spirit recognize Jesus

Mark 5:6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”

  • As the man advanced, he fell on his knees before Jesus.

Here we are once again confronted by the authority and identity of Jesus.

Ironically, the demons recognize Jesus in a way the disciples did not. “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”

  • What do you want with me.
  • What do you want with us, Jesus: Jesus of Nazareth? Son of the Most High God?
  • I know who you are - the Holy One of God. Swear to God that you won't torture me?
  • Have you come to destroy us?

4. Jesus speaks to the evil spirit

Jesus has total control over the evil spirits (vs.8).

Mark 5:8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”

They beg him and he gives them permission (v.13).

Mark 5:12 The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Jesus has total control over these demons - He commands the demons, who beg Jesus not to send them out of the area.

The unclean spirits express the great, unbridgeable gap between them and Jesus. They are unclean spirits; He is the Son of the Most High God/the Holy One of God, the bearer of the Holy Spirit.

The unclean spirit recognizes that Jesus has the power to destroy them, and that is what He has come to do.

5. The Incident with the herd of pigs

Mark 5:11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Accordingly, the unclean spirits begged Jesus to send them among and into a large herd of pigs which was feeding on the nearby hillside, doubtless expecting these pigs to remain near the area where they were feeding.

The one who spoke for the unclean spirits begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. This is a curious request: Why would unclean spirits need to remain in a specific area? Was it that the host had consulted the dead on account of the many tombs in that area, and for that reason the unclean spirits did not want to leave?

If they were to be cast out from their present host, where might they hope to find another as suitable? Jesus gave them permission and the unclean spirits came out of the man and went into the pigs, about two thousand in number; which, however, against expectation rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

The banishment into the pigs is given without any explanation but indicates the destructive nature of the demons as well as the power of Jesus to destroy them.

6. The response of the pig herdsmen

Mark ends the incident with a deliberate contrast between the response of the herdsmen and the people (v.14-17) and the delivered demon possessed man. Mark concludes his story with starkly contrasting human responses.

The herdsmen ‘go and tell’ (v.14)

Mark 5:14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.

The owners of the pigs, and others from the neighbouring region who had been told what had happened, converged on Jesus and the man who had been demon-possessed.

They were afraid, sensing the presence of the supernatural, when they saw the previously deranged man sitting there, dressed and in his right mind.

Yet despite the astonishing change in the man they began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. We might have expected a request for Jesus to come and bring his powers to bear on others similarly afflicted in the area. But, they asked him to go away, a sad commentary on their distorted sense of priorities which preferred property to people.

The telling of the herdsmen results in the people of the region being afraid of Jesus (v.15) and ‘begging’ Jesus to leave their neighbourhood (v.17).

The story contrasts the value of the deliverance of a demon possessed and the loss of a herd of pigs.

The source of the people’s livelihood has been lost and will cause great economic disaster.

When the final decision had to be made it was too costly to have Jesus present. Their economic livelihood was more important than a changed delivered demoniac. Jesus was a misfortune.

Mark 5:17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

7. The restored demon possessed man

Mark 5:18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”

The herdsmen ‘go and tell’ (v.14) and in the same way the demoniac ‘goes and tells’ (v.20).

Mark lets us not only see the dramatically changed man, but also hear him beg to go with Jesus as one of his group.

Mark 5:15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

Did he not owe him his life?

Jesus tells him to 'Go home to your family and tell them how much the LORD has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.'

The demoniac, in obedient faith, does exactly as he has been told in v.20 and the result is ‘everyone marvelled’.

Mark 5:20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

A Gentile is sent to testify to his loved ones what Yahweh, the God of Israel, has shown him mercy, through the ministry of Jesus.

Jesus is in fact making another oblique claim to be the Lord of Israel.

Obedient to this command, the man began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.

Conclusion

What does Mark want us to learn from this passage?

Mark is asking us, ‘Will you fear Jesus and send him away or trust Jesus and obey Him?

  • We should understand that Jesus is the Son of the Most High God who has come like a victorious warrior to overcome the community of the unclean spirits and their ruler, Satan.
  • The casting out of unclean spirits is evidence of the kingdom of God which Jesus had come to bring and proclaim. We are reminded once more that Jesus takes the initiative against the evil in our world.
  • Further, Mark wants us to see that, in Jesus, Yahweh the God of Israel is present in both mercy and power to deliver those who are oppressed by evil forces. At the word of Jesus the unclean spirits are expelled, just as at the word of Jesus the storm was stilled (cf verses 35-41).
  • The picture of the man clothed and in his right mind now restored to his family, in contrast with the deranged man who had lived among the tombs, is silent but eloquent testimony to this.

In Peter's words in Acts 10:38: God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power ... he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

He transforms the chaos of a broken world to a new Creation - Jesus has just calmed a chaotic sea storm and brought calm; in deliverance of the madness of the demon possessed man, Jesus calms an “inner storm”.

Both the stories end in fear.

Mark 5:15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind

The power of Jesus penetrates and prevails the formidable power of evil over the demon possessed, confronts the chaos and destruction of a human life, and brings peace and new life.

The explosive power of evil does not prevail against Jesus. The Legion of evil spirits which could be 5000-6000 evil spirits acknowledge, submit to and obey the Lord Jesus Christ. The evil spirit pleads for mercy but is expelled at the word of Jesus.

The purpose of Jesus mission is seen clearly when it comes to Him dealing with demons.

Jesus Himself explains His mission as coming to bind the strong man who is Satan so that he can plunder His house and set prisoners free.

The kingdom of God ultimately means the overthrow of the kingdom of the Evil One.

Jesus plunders the strong man’s house - He rescues people from the kingdom of Satan

How does evil affect me?

Ephesians 2:1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.

Jesus taught us to pray:

Colossians 1:13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 2:13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 ...... canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.

Mathew 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, .......... but deliver us from the evil one.’