Scripture Intro: In this passage, Mark presents two different groups of people who come to Christ, but each responds differently.
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.
FCF: We fail to allow Christ’s power over evil to transform our lives.
Proposition: Because Christ is more powerful than your sin, you must submit to the transformation Christ offers.
I. Because Christ is more powerful than your sin, you must allow Him to defeat your sin.
1. He had an unclean spirit (v.2). He was possessed by the spiritual enemy. We too are naturally possessed by our sinful nature and held in bondage by “the prince of the power of the air” () until we experience Jesus’ saving power. The other aspects of this man’s condition are really the full working of what the enemy wishes to do to God’s special creation.
2. His dwelling was among the tombs (v.3a). He had removed himself from society and had instead lived in a place of defilement. According to OT law, even the touch of any tomb was defiling.
3. He was strong and ungovernable (v.3b-4). Mankind had attempted to subdue him. But the powers of sin were too strong for what the world can offer. How often do we try to suppress our sin rather than coming to Jesus for liberation. We, in and of ourselves, cannot restrain evil.
4. He was tormented and a tormentor to others (v. 5, cf.. Screaming at all times, causing others to travel by another route, and the men of the city were forced to drive him away from society. The demons that possessed him caused himself physical harm with the stones around him.
Application: Evil is always destructive, never constructive. We often deceive ourselves about what evil/sin really is. We often think that we or our children will be immune to evil that is around us. We are passive about entertainment choices we expose ourselves too or the type of friends our children are influenced by. We forget that we are called unto holiness, just as God is holy. The outworking of our holiness is not to show how strong we are by getting as close to sin without falling. Rather, we are to recognize how weak and susceptible we are to sin and must take drastic measures to avoid it.
1. The Panic of the Demons (v.6‐10)
a) Even a Legion of demons could not keep the man from giving Jesus the worship He deserved. (v.6) Christ put the desire in the man to be delivered from Satan.
b) The disciples probably expected to be tormented by the demoniac, but it is he who understands Jesus’ true power and Deity. Matthew Henry – “It is no strange thing to hear the best words drop from the worst mouths”. And then begs that He not torment him. (v.7)
c) Jesus commanded the demon to come out of the man (v.8). The demons must come out before the Holy Spirit may indwell one’s soul.
d) Christ’s Inquiry (v.9). Although the omniscient One knew the names of all the fallen angels, the question was asked to reveal the number of demons which possessed this man. The Legion boasts about vast number (a Roman legion typically consisted of 5,000-6,000 men).
2. The Plea of the Demons (v.10‐13). The Demons recognized Jesus’s power over them by pleading that they not be sent out of the region or even to the abyss. They requested to be sent into the swine. Jesus merely permitted them to possess the pigs and liberate the man.
II. Because Christ is more powerful than your sin, you must allow him to transform your life.
The herdsmen reported in the village what they had seen hoping to save their jobs. The people of the city came to Jesus just as the demoniac had. They saw the results of Jesus’ transformation (sitting, clothed, and sober/in his right mind). They feared Jesus’ power, because He had done something they could not – liberate the demoniac. In verse 16 they reviewed the situation and received more information. And, they rejected God on account of grace being bad for business. Although the Legion had been cast out, the only thing Satan needs to keep in the hearts of men is the love for the things of this world.
Application: Will ‘swine’ come between you and Jesus? Will you reject God’s grace in your life or the lives’ of other on a business decision? Where does Christ fall on your list of priorities?
After deliverance the man simply desires to be with his Deliverer. Perhaps the man was fearful of Legion returning. The man was willing to forsake the company of those who rejected Christ and began to covet fellowship with Christ and those following Him. But, Jesus would not permit him to come, but charged him that he should stay and proclaim the great compassion that he had received.
Application: Tell others about what Jesus has done v.19-20 – God uses our witness/testimony to proclaim His glories to others