The Bible says, “Old things pass away, behold all things become new” and that means the things you did yesterday you don’t do today…because you have changed. All through the Gospels we can see that there were people who met Jesus and at the very moment they met Him they were totally transformed from living one way to living God’s way, because Jesus is a life changer.
The love of God meets us where we are, the love of God meets us in our mess, in our disasters, in our crisis, in our chaos, in our troubles, in our condition, and in our sad circumstances. He doesn’t wait until we get clean and then comes to meet us; He meets us at point of where we are. He meets the drug addict even while the crack pipe is still in his mouth—He meets the alcoholic even during happy hour. You see, God gave us Jesus to come down and to rescue us—He didn’t bring us up to Him where He was to rescue us, He sent His Son Jesus Christ down where we are…to save us even in a graveyard.
Here in our text, we have a man who was possessed by demons. We don’t know much about who he was, but we do know that he was somebody’s son. He had to be somebody’s relative; he was probably somebody’s husband and somebody’s father. But Mark tells us that he was bound by the devil, his dilemma was that he could not fit into society and so he has to live in a tomb—his address was in a cemetery.
He couldn’t live with his family because most likely they couldn’t control him either. The demons inside him made him wild and untamable. He was unpredictable, you just didn’t know what he was going to do next or what kind of words would come out of his mouth, because his actions and his words were under a demonic control.
He Dwelled Among the Dead
And so the graveyard seems to be the only appropriate place for him to dwell. Let me say this, the devil loves to keep us in the tombs—that’s right, the devil likes to have you hang out with those who are dead. I’m not talking about the physically dead, but he just loves to have you hang out with those who are spiritually dead, he wants you to be influenced by them.
There are many great godly people who can influence you but the devil prefers that these kind of people be your example as to how you should live, the spiritually dead—he wants them to be the ones who influences you. Now days we see many who profess faith in Christ yet do not live like Christians. Let me put a pin right here for moment, I’ll get back to my thought—but how can you tell if a person is spiritually dead? Well, they treat their faith like it’s some kind of routine they treat their faith if they have any at all with no value, no mission, no purpose, and no passion.
They are not passionate about Jesus, they act as if they can take Him or leave Him. They don’t feel that He is important enough to invest much time in Him. They are spiritually dead and these are the kind of people the devil would love to introduce you to if he had the chance. Because you see, these kinds of people are just perfect for dragging, holding, and keeping you down. I know all about them myself; at one time in my life the majority of the people I hung out with were spiritually dead people and I guess I hung out with them because I was no different than they were. People who did not care about Jesus, and they weren’t so crazy about God either. All they wanted to do was party, party, party, and I partied right along with them until one day Jesus showed up and made a difference in my life, He changed my life—because He’s a life changer. I had a brand new walk and a brand new talk; I lost interest in the things that I thought I loved so much and I’m glad about it. I know I’m walking down somebody’s street this morning, I know I’m not by myself on this am I? There was a time for somebody in here when you were too mean to live and not fit to die…but Jesus showed up in your life and nothing has been the same since then.
He Binded by Chains
In the text, this man dwelled among the dead and he was binded by chains. The reason why he was binded by chains is because the Bible says, “no man could tame him” now how do you get to the point where you are labeled “Untamable?” I mean you tame dogs and dolphins—but how does a man get to the point where he is so wild until he needs to be tamed?
He couldn’t fit into society; he was wild and had to be chained down. This man was so possessed until the chains couldn’t hold him—the demons inside of him were so strong until they broke the chains. There are people like this today, you’ve seen them standing on the street corners. Walking around the supermarket parking lot, trying to get a couple of quarters from you. Not all of them, but many of them are on drugs and they can’t break the habit because the demons inside of them are too strong. The man here in our text, might have been a man with character but now he’s out of control, and he has become a maniac.
Sometimes I can drive down the street and see people who resemble this man somehow or another. I see boys walking around with their pants hanging down and their underwear showing—but they didn’t call it underwear for nothing. Underwear means that you should wear it under your regular clothing they call it sagging, but the truth is it’s satanic. There’s a new thing going on today, the boys are sagging their pants and the girls are wearing their pajamas.
That’s sleepwear, sleepwear is what it says—you wear it when you are ready to go to sleep, it is not designed for socializing. I don’t know what they’re trying to say, or they trying to say that they’re sleep walking? Not in tune with the world around them? Whatever they’re trying to say—it’s satanic! Who’s raising these children? I’m glad you asked, they are raised by parents who are just as possessed as they are!!!
What happened to the kind of parents who were around when I grew up? My mother was small in stature; my brother and I towered over her, but she sure knew how to call the house in order. She didn’t ever have to touch us, all she had to do was give us that look and automatically the house was back in order.
She’s no longer with us today, but if she were here and you’d ask her she’d tell you, “I was not about to raise any maniacs.” She and my father did not hesitate to use the board of education on the seat of my education. There is so much violence in our streets today—there’s people around and seems like nobody can tame them. Not the local police department, not the highway patrol, not the F. B. I, not the C. I. A., not the A. T. F., they are untamable! They live a life of destruction and violence—it’s exactly what the devil wants, that’s the instructions he gives to his demons, go out into the world and make them go crazy! Make them go stark raven mad! Make them go coo coo for cocoa puffs! Wait a minute; haven’t you noticed how crazy the world seems to be getting now?
Everyday there’s something in the newspaper that will make you scratch your head. Men marrying men, and women marrying women. Women killing their own babies, legally or illegally. People being hated and even murdered because the color of their skin or they speak a difference language It’s all-satanic, don’t fool yourself this morning—it’s the devil, he hates the children of God and he wants to destroy each and every one of us but his biggest problem is—Jesus is life changing. Jesus told Peter one day that the devil wants to sift you as wheat, but I’ve prayed for you. In other words—I got your back.
Jesus Passes By
In the text, from verse one to verse 7, Marks tells us about this man possessed with demons. But in verse 8, a change happens—in verse 8 we see that Jesus shows up and He shows up on purpose. When He shows we see a difference (don’t we?) From verses 1 – 7 we see a sad condition, but from verses 8 – 17 we a saving conversion. And look at the text again, eventhough this man is full of demons he’s running to Jesus and not from Him. Eventhough today there are people under Satan’s attack, some of them have the good sense to run to Jesus. This man was crying all night and all day and imagine he was in the mountains, in the graveyard crying his heart out. Have you noticed how many people are crying today? They cry over their family, they cry over their job situation, they cry a health condition, and the devil wants them to cry.
This man was suicidal, and how I know this is because the Bible says he was cutting himself. He was a self-abuser, people today are abusing their ownselves, they are destroying their ownselves, because they don’t feel worthy. You see, the devil wants us to feel as if we don’t have self-worth and so he says go ahead and destroy yourself by any means necessary.
Whether it’s by drugs or alcohol or by a lack of faith in the God who created you. But the devil is a liar and a deceiver too, you are precious in the sight of God, no matter who you are or what you’ve done. When folk have written you off, God still has you on His list. When folk have called you everything but the child of God, God says you are my child. While they lie on you, talk behind your back, and criticize you, God is in the midst showing His love for you. This is why Jesus showed up, and He showed up on purpose. He didn’t wait for the man to come out of the graveyard; He went into the graveyard to meet the man.
What’s Your Name?
He asked one question, He wasn’t talking to the man—He was talking to the demons. He asked, “What’s your name?” And the demons answered, “Legion because we are many” and did you know that we’re still dealing with Legion? Because we all have so many personalities until we don’t know who we are sometimes. Our emotions run wild sometimes, one day we’re sad and the next day we’re happy, one day we’re angry and the next day we walk around with a perpetual smile on our face.
But if want to stay consistent, we need Jesus to show up in our lives every day. That’s why Jesus showed up here in our text and He showed up on purpose. This man saw Jesus afar off and the demons in him cried out don’t torment us before the time. You see the demons were afraid of Jesus because they knew who He really was. There are people who really don’t know who Jesus is, and it’s sad because even the demons have one upon them because they know for a fact who Jesus is. (Yea) they know He’s the Son of God Jesus, they know that He came to destroy the works of the devil. They know that He came to set the captives free and to change lives. Jesus commanded the demons to come out. He said, what is your name? The demon said, my name is Legion, because there’s 6,000 under me and I got in this man and I took all 6,000 in with me.
Now, think about 6,000 demons in your son or your daughter. 6,000 demons in your husband or your wife, think about 6,000 demons that want to get inside of you and drive you to destruction, and drive you crazy. But I’m here to tell you this morning that Jesus makes the difference. He told the demons to get out of him—the demons went out of the man and went into the pigs (somebody said that’s why don’t eat pork-chops anymore) the demons went into the pigs, and the pigs said we ain’t no fools, we’d rather die than live with demons and so two-thousand pigs committed suicide that day because they jumped into the sea and drowned their own selves.
The man was healed, and must’ve said to himself that it was Jesus who changed my life from a maniac to a Christian. He’s not the only one whose life was changed by Jesus, asked The tenth Leper, he’ll tell you the exact same thing—come here #10, what do you have to say? I could hear him say, “Well I don’t know about the other 9—that’s on them, but I just had to come back and tell Him thank you, I had to come back and give Him the glory that only He deserves, because He changed my life! My life was spent in a leper's colony, my only company was nine other lepers, but now life is sweat and my joy is complete because I’m saved by Jesus. Well, what about the woman with the issue of blood—come here sister and give your testimony, I hear her saying, “I know that everybody has an issue, but mine was for 12 long years and there was nobody able to help; the doctors just took my little money—but Jesus showed up and changed my life, and I want to thank Him for how He brought me, I want to thank Him for He how He taught me, thank Him for how He kept, I wanna thank Him because He never left me—I wanna thank God and thank Him for being so good to me.
C’mon here woman at the well, what can you say? “Well when Jesus showed up, He offered me some water—but it wasn’t the kind of water that you would think—it’s was living water, the kind of water where you’ll never be thirsty again. It’s living water, that’s a gift that keeps on giving—and I had to tell somebody to “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did.” Come see a man who changed my life. The truth is this morning, we really don’t have to go the Bible to get a testimony because there’s somebody in the room who can tell you what Jesus has done for them. Somebody here can tell you, that I’m not the same person I used to be because Jesus is a life changer.
He’ll pick you up, and turned you around, He’ll place your feet on solid ground. He’ll change the wino to a winner, and the hooker to a hoper, the gang member to a Church member, He’ll change your life and mine; all we have to do is just let Him. Amen.