Mark 5:1-20 HCSB
Mark 5:1-5 is a graphic depiction of the darkness at its worst in a human. Our context: Mark was a master at constructing context in his Gospel. In chapter 4 Jesus deals with the point of parables (speaking in mystery, hyperbole and stories to expound on God’s Kingdom – these truths are for those with “ears to hear” and explained to those closest to Jesus.) Three times in 4:35-41 we read of those around Jesus as fearful/terrified. Jesus calmed the storm and their fear was transferred from the storm to the awe of Christ’s power.
In the beginning of chapter 5 Jesus calms a more significant storm…
I – A Description of Darkness – This story highlights the “bullet-points” of evil and darkness.
Darkness (sin, rebellion, disobedience) is… Self-destructive (vs 5) Abusive (vs 3) Lonely (vs 5) Filled with a hollow cries (vs 5) Frightening to others (vs 4) Had a history of danger (vs 4) Even fearful of God! (vs 7)
II – Jesus and the Darkness meet face to face
When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before Him. 7 And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do You have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg You before God, don’t torment me!” 5:6-7 This meeting is evidence of the Lord’s mercy (which is credited with this deliverance in vs 19) Jesus and the demon possessed man were face to face – right where possessed man needed to be – he was now exposed to the light after so long in utter darkness When someone is in darkness they need the light – though this will be often uncomfortable (“don’t torment me”) – this now happens by presenting the gospel to them w/ truth, wisdom and love.
It is interesting the tormented one (or rather he as under the control of demons) was afraid of torment from Christ – harkens back to Genesis 3:9-10 “So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard You in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”
When Jesus comes to us, even in correction, it is for our good
Jesus asked his name, which was Legion, meaning there were many, many demons in this man. The point isn’t the number of demons – and it is certainly not teaching we should have conversations with them (this was narrative – not a teaching passage). The point was this man was in utter darkness and thus had relinquished control of his life to satanic forces. He was absolutely lost and in need of deliverance.
III – One Miracle – Two Messages
The demons begged Jesus to cast them into the pigs – the demons had some fear of being thrown into the abyss (perhaps the abyss or pit in Revelation 9:1) Jesus cast the demons out of the man and they entered about 2000 pigs who immediately ran over a cliff and drown. – The majority of the people ran Jesus out of town because of an economic hit Notice also of the fear which grips witness to the calming of the sea and the man in his right mind (Mark 4:41 and Mark 5:15) – The delivered man evangelized (told every one of the Lord’s mercy)
Mercy for a Madman
This isn’t a “how to” on exorcisms – Mark isn’t giving us step-by-step instructions on how to cast demons out of people – or how to speak to demons. The context surrounding this passage deals with Jesus power over seemingly uncontrollable situations from storms (4:35-31) to death (5:35-43), hemorrhaging (5:34).
Mercy is God’s restraint – this man did not deserve love, he deserved judgement. Mercy was the motivation for Jesus. Rest assured, His motivation concerning you is mercy – He is not desiring that you should perish but for you to experience the gift of repentance and mercy (John 10:28, 2 Peter 3:9)
Like this man – we, or our loved ones, may be out of control, hurting ourselves or others. Controlled by compulsions which are only after our destruction (the 1st thing the pigs did was kill themselves – this is evidence of evil’s ultimate goal when there is no restriction.)
No matter how you got in your mess, or how dark it is, Jesus desires to set you free. Call out to Jesus right where you are, right now, as well as get help from a trusted Christian resource. Today can be your last day of madness. When your mess and Jesus meet – the darkness and madness are driven from you, and you are left at peace and promised His loving presence at all times.
Listen to Mercy for a Madman, download the presentation in PDF, Keynote, and PPT as well as the Presenter notes here: http://j.mp/MercyForAMadman
Here are the Presenter Notes in Google Doc form (which may be updated over time): http://j.mp/MercyForAMadmanDoc