Jesus had finished a hard day’s work of teaching about proclaiming his message. He illustrates by saying some have not received his message because the birds came and ate it all up. Some did not receive it because it was sown in poor soil so that the seed could not grow. Other seed or rather his message was sown in good soil but full of weeds. Finally came the right time and place inwhich God's Word took in peoples hearts. After all this the sun is now beginning to set on Jesus and his 12 new friends; therefore, he says to them. “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” The other side was “no man’s land.” The people living on the other side were of a complete different ethnicity. The lake Jesus crossed was the Sea of Galilee. After the “stormy” 5 mile crossing he is now on the east side of the lake in a region called the Decapolis. This area was predominantly Gentile that is non Jewish. It was made up of 10 cities. Upon reaching land they find a great surprise!
This is what they find according to Mark
Mark 5:1-20 (NLT)
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Man
5 So they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from a cemetery to meet him. 3 This man lived among the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. 4 Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Day and night he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.
6 When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. 7 With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”
9 Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”
And he replied, “My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man.” 10 Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.
11 There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. 12 “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”
13 So Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.
14 The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. 15 A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. 16 Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. 17 And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to go with him. 19 But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” 20 So the man started off to visit the Ten Towns* of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.
Jesus and his friends are confronted by a demon possessed man that has nothing on but his birthday suite. He had broken chains dangling from his hands and irons on his feet. In Mark’s Gospel he tells us that no one could subdue him. This man who once was somebody’s little boy had become a pitiful site because of what demon possession had done.
Jesus and the demon possessed man have a conversation. Jesus asks him his name to which the evil spirit responds, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” A legion in the Roman army consisted of 3000 to 6000 soldiers. The demons knew Jesus would not allow them to occupy the man any longer; therefore, they suggest to Jesus. “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” Some might get bent out of shape because of the demise of 2,000 pigs; however, think about this. Is it wrong to eat bacon with your pancakes, or to eat a ham and cheese sandwich? Most of us would say no. More so how important is that man’s soul. He was once lost but now Jesus had made him whole! This event results in Jesus being asked to leave their region (Mark 5:17).
1.how did the demon possessed man get this way
I do not know; perhaps, he had witnessed something horrific. Maybe a legion of Roman soldiers had raped and murdered his family; therefore, leaving him mad and eventually becoming demon possessed?
2.why would the towns people ask Jesus to leave
It seems as if they are more concerned about the loss of the pigs than the healing of the man!
As Jesus and the 12 set out to leave, the man who was once demon possessed now asks if he can go with Jesus.
“But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been” (Mark 5:19).
By sending the man out into the Decapolis, could Jesus be setting up his future return to this region? Mark tells us that he returns sometime later and feeds 5,000. Don’t you think that the Gentiles would have been more willing to receive the Gospel message about Jesus Christ if they had already heard something about Christ? Something perhaps from that once demon possessed man? I think so! I guarantee you that the once demon possessed man pointed to Jesus everywhere he went for he had once been lost but now Christ had found and restored him! He could not help proclaiming what Jesus had done.
What has Jesus done for you? What demons has he set you free from? And how can you tell others about it just as the man in our story did?
Do you still need to repent so that you can be set free from your demons?
Repenting from such things as un-forgiveness, pride, hatred, greed? Christ can set you free from these as he set that man free. That man was totally dependent on Jesus setting him free just as we are. Talk to Jesus about this, let him know you want his help and show him that you mean it by obediently being baptized.
What are you going to do when confronted by a demon? There are demons that affect us directly as I mentioned above; however, there are others that may affect us indirectly and it is up to us to do something about it just as Jesus did with that man. Because a person can become excessively lonely demons can enter them. The elderly at the Arma Care Center is an example of this. Some people, some mothers, fathers, grandparents are simply just left to die in these nursing homes. You can do something about that. Come with me or meet there next Sunday at 3p.m. Coming together in Jesus’ name might make all the difference in the world to someone. Or may be you know of a teen age neighbor that is beginning to experiment with drugs? Your involvement could put a stop to their possible drug abuse which could lead to demon possession. All you have to do is stand in the gap in Jesus name!
So the way I see it is like this. We are either set free from the demons that wish to kill us or we need to be set free from them. One is going to eventually be destroyed by their demons and the other if they have repented and are following Christ they will live. If this is you then proclaim what Jesus has done.
So that I am perfectly clear, please hear me now! If you are not following Jesus; repent! Oh do not turn him away! As Jesus cared for the man in our story he cares for you and asks you to proclaim what he has done for you.
Let’s pray, Jesus thank you for loving us, thank you for healing us, and now thank you for sending us. In Jesus Name. Amen