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Defeat of Evil

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Defeat of Evil

Mark 5:1-20

1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For 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. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

 6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

 9Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"

   "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

 11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13He gave them permission, and the evil 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.

 14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When 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. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

 18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Introduction

The Gospel of Mark was the first written account we got of life of Jesus.

Why did Mark write the life of Jesus? Why did other gospel writer write the life of Jesus down?

For about 30 years or so there were no written account. The gospel was spread orally verbally.

One of the reasons why there were no written account for 30 years is because it was very difficult of any distortions of who Jesus really was because of the presences of eye witnesses.

For example in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writs to the church of Corinth about 15 years after the death of Jesus. He is writing to the church about resurrections and the meaning of resurrection and then he actually names the people who saw the resurrections of Jesus Christ.  And even at one point Paul states that there were 500 people whom Jesus actually appeared at one time.

And he says most of them are still alive and if you want to talk to them go ahead and talk to them.

What Paul was saying within first 20 years it would be very difficult to just makeup about who Jesus was and things about Jesus because people actually saw him.

FOR example, you could not say “oh yeah I saw Jesus fly from one ministry to another because he was divine.” And others would say no I lived and saw him and he never flied anywhere.

But when the eyewitness died thereafter arose a problem of distortion.

Illustration: Me as a legion in Philadelphia Children’s retreat.  When a little girl said to Joe, “that’s pastor James…”

About one generation after apostles have died where most of the eyewitness were dieing then arose the problem and the danger of people who could decide who they wanted Jesus to be. They could make up Jesus on their own.  They could lose touch with real Jesus.

Therefore the Gospel writers got together and pulled the life and stories to tell about real Jesus.

Today we are going to look at one of the most detail and longest and vivid account in the book of Mark and also most longest and vivid account of exorcism in the whole bible.

It tells us three things

First, we are going to learn about complexity of evil

Second, Pattern of how evil works

Third, how it can be defeated.

Verse 1-2

1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

Background:

Matthew and Mark also have a parallel story and Matthew tells us that there were actually two men possessed with demon.  Why does Mark only mentions one?

Well to tell the truth I believe there could have been even more than two.  What Mark is doing here is he is emphasizing one particular man.  Perhaps Peter the discipler of Mark remembers vividly this story about this particular man.

In Is. 65 tells about Gentiles who lived among the tombs.  Pursing their own gratifications and eating the flesh of pigs.  Many times Demon possessed, ill and menial ill people lived in the graves because they were outcast among the people.

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

Jesus Leave the city where Jewish people lives and gets into the boat to go across where Gentiles live. 

What’s interesting is that Jesus’ ministry to the Jewish people in chapter one starts out with casting out demon possessed man as well as here Jesus’ first ministry to the Gentiles also starts out with demon possessed man.

The Devil. Evil if you will, his soul purpose is to distort and destroy the very nature of us being created in the image of God.  Therefore, Christ comes to bring us whole again.

That’s his ministry to gather the sheep to his father.

Well, OK I can see that but, you don’t really believe there are demons and demon possessions today?  Do you?

Why not?

Well some may say, it’s irrational to believe in demons.

Some may also say “Didn’t people blamed mental sickness in demon possessions?”  Since, people did not understand diseases and mental illness and epilepsy.

So they attributed everything to demons, they were simplicity and naive about things.

Maybe that’s the case for many ancient people but not the Bible.

As a matter of facts, biblical understanding of demons is most complex least simplicity, least naïve about the reality of evil and sickness.

For example: Matthew 4:24

“News about him spread all over and people brought to him all who were ill with various diseases, those suffering severe pain, the demon-possessed, lunatic, and he healed them.”

First, it shows Bible differentiate people who are demon possessed with diseased.

More than that they also brought the lunatic and demon-possessed.

Today the word lunatic is an insult word but in the original Greek.

Lunatic is defined this way in Greek lexicon: Any kind of insanity, irrational, or seizures.

That means bible understood the difference between the mental illness, epilepsy, disease and demon possession.

Bible writer understood that.

Therefore what Bible teaches us in the role of Evil plays in misery and difficulties and problems in our lives are complex.

You cannot just call mental illness evil just as much as you cannot call evil mental illness.

Therefore we must understand it and confront it.

What are the demons, evil, sin in your life?

That’s the first thing complexity of evil

Second these scripture teaches us how pattern of evil work in our life.

Verse 3-5

3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For 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. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

What can we learn about sin and evil from these text?

When we let sin come in our life notice the patterns…

First, In one hand he has great strength (kind of like super human strength) no one subdue him. 

He gets enormous power for having made packed with evil BUT at the same time he is a slave.

Greater empowerment at the same time loss of sense of self.

(That’s what sin does in our life)

If we make anything more important to our meaning of life than the Lord It is our master.

Illustration: If money is most important thing in your life.  Having money will empower you.  But more you are driven to make money you will be enslaved by it.

Becky Pepper said in her book “Out of the salt shaker”

“The person who seeks power is controlled by power

The person who seeks acceptance is controlled by people he or she wants to please.

But there is one thing that is certain.

No one controls themselves

We are controlled by the Lord of our lives.”

What controls you?  What are the Lord of your life?

Whatever you center your life on you have become enslaved by it.

Second, look at verse 3

3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.

Look what its say “anymore”

Which means that the pattern of evil is gradual. 

Evil, sin, never comes up to you from the front.

Illustration:  Devil does not come up to you and say I am going to take you up to the top of your career and it’s going to cost you your family, friends, your health and everything hahahaha.  And you don’t say OK

NO you find yourself alone on top and you ask yourself “How did I get here?”

There is the pattern so how do we defeat it?

 

How do we defeat the evil in our life?

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!"

Look at what happen…  When this man who was in chain when he is confronted by the presence of God he is down on his knees.

Worship/ Encountering God.

Healing

11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13He gave them permission, and the evil 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.

What’s up with the pigs?

Most of us look at the pig and say poor little pigs but we have to understand when the reader read this passage the issue was not the pigs rather what they were saying look at all that money because 2000 pigs were a lot of money.

So what are we learning here?

First, when Jesus Christ defeats evil and sin in your life, you better not tell him what the game plan is going to be. You have no idea because he knows the things you don’t know.  He has his own way of doing it.

Second, Jesus is trying to say here that all the wealth in the world is not worth more than one soul.

In order to save a human being is worth loosing a fortune.

Even all of your wealth is not worth loosing your soul over.

Bible says “What profits a man to gain the whole world and looses his soul.”

You would think that people would rejoice for the life of this poor demon possessed man. 

But no

Verse 14-17

14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When 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. 16Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.

It was too much for the people; they pleaded with Jesus to depart from the region.

WHY?

Christ was too costly a guest!

Ryle, J. C

“Countless multitudes still wish Christ far from them for fear His fellowship may occasion some social or financial or personal loss. Seeking to save their possessions, they lose their souls”

In 1 Kings 18 we have a similar stories about people who were cutting themselves calling upon higher power.

Elijah on Mount Carmel

21 Elijah went before the people and said, “How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.”

So that’s what I ask you today… Whom will you serve?

Verse 18-20

18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

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