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Summary: This is one of the most amazing stories in the Bible!! It is a tremendous picture of the grace of God touching & transforming the most hopeless of men.

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The Gospel of Mark #13 – “A Nude Dude in a Rude Mood”

Mark 5:1-20

Intro –

1. I love preaching the Bible & all that goes along with it!! I love the study of Homiletics – the art of preaching. I have over 40 books in my library just on this topic alone!

2. 2 Tim. 4:2 “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.” **1st PCEFC sermon!!

3. One of the things we are taught in preaching is the importance of getting the people’s attention in the introduction so they’ll be interested enough to follow along. **The hook!

4. You can surprise people, dress differently (like a bum), make them laugh with a joke, tell a human interest story, show a video, etc…There are a lot of ways you can capture interest.

5. But there are some portions of Scripture that don't need that. This is one of those.

6. If this is not the most interesting incident in the life of our Lord, it is certainly one of them. It is so compelling & so riveting & so strange & so bizarre & so fascinating that merely reading it makes you want to learn all about it.

7. This story is written in all 3 synoptic gospels, but Mark’s is the most detailed. Matthew gives the account 7 verses, Luke 14 verse, & Mark 20 verses.

8. Mark 5:1-20 (Read)

9. This is one of my favorite stories in the Bible!! It is a tremendous picture of the grace of God touching & transforming the most hopeless of men.

10. At the beginning of this man's encounter with Christ he is hopelessly enslaved to the powers of darkness, wandering aimlessly down the road of destruction, alienated from God & man. Yet by the time Christ finishes with him, he is "sitting there, dressed & in his right mind" (vs. 15). Not only that, but he then becomes a slave to the cause of Christ & goes around proclaiming "how much Jesus had done for him" (vs. 20).

11. Ps. 34:6 “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.”

12. Once in bondage to the kingdom of darkness, he is now the willing & obedient slave of the kingdom of light.

13. Rom. 6:17-18 “17But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. 18You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.”

14. ILL – Watching scary movies when I was young because I knew they were not real…

15. While this story may seem “unreal” we can learn some very real lessons from it –

I. The Demonic World is Real – Vs. 1-5

The Bible has little to say about how demons came to have their evil nature & even less about where they came from. However, we do know that there are “good angels” (God’s angels) & “evil angels” (Satan’s demons).

*Millard Erickson writes, “Demons, are angels created by God & thus were originally good; but they sinned & thus became evil. Just when this rebellion took place we do not know, but it must have occurred between the time when God completed the creation & pronounced it all “very good,” & the temptation & fall of the humans (Gen. 3).”

**For the Christian, there are 2 extremes which must be avoided –

C. S. Lewis, “There are two equal & opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, & to feel an excessive & unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors, & hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

While the demonic world may be shrouded in mystery, it is nonetheless very real.

A. Demons can possess a lost person – vs. 2, 8, 10 **“a man with an evil spirit”

1. There are several prominent accounts of demon possession in the Bible.

2. While this story has often been called “The maniac of Gadara,” it is absolutely clear that he didn’t just suffer from mental illness – he was possessed.

3. While the symptoms of mental illness & possession may be similar, we must understand that they are 2 distinct maladies.

4. Notice, the symptoms of this man’s demon possession –

a. Severe personality change – The “before” & “after” descriptions of the demoniac reveal that he was a totally different person under demonic influence.

b. Anti-social behavior – He lived in the tombs, away from people & was naked.

c. Spiritual insight – He instantly recognized the Lord Jesus as God’ Son & begged not to be cast into hell before the appointed time (vs. 7). **Luke “Abyss.”

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