Summary: 1. The Demons Pleaded with Jesus. 2. The People Pleaded with Jesus. 3. The Demon-possessed Man Pleaded with Jesus
November 16, 2003
Title: Pleading with Jesus
Text: Mark 5:1-20
1. The devil and his demons have become a big joke...
people picture him wearing red long johns...
with horns and a pitchfork...
and it causes people to not take it seriously...
in fact, many people don’t believe that the devil exists...
2. But just like there is a God and good spiritual beings, like angels...
there is a devil and there are demons.
there are numerous stories of demon possession in Scripture...
and I would like for us to look at one this morning.
3. Read Mark 5:1-20
1. Background of City and surrounding area where this miracle took place. (pics from Holylandphotos.org)
A. Before we study this miracle, I would like for us to look at this geographical area...
and as we look at this area, what it looks like today...
and what it would have been like in Jesus day...
I hope that it will give us more insight into this fascinating event from God’s Word
B. The city of Gerasa, also called Gadara, is located about 6 miles from the Sea of Galilee.
Back in Mark 4:35, Jesus says to His disciples, "let us go over to the other side" of the Sea of Galilee.
The Sea of Galilee is actually a lake.
This lake is 12 1/2 miles long, and from 4 to 7 1/2 broad (depending on where you are at)
It is roughly an oval shape.
Jewish historians indicate that about 230 ships would fish this lake regularly in Jesus day.
It is still a good place for fishing even today.
The area that they sailed to was (and is) a rural area,
the area was designated, "the region of the Gerasenes"
because it was "the region where the people in and around Gerasa lived"
The City in that vicinity today is called Kursi.
Because of the evidence of Scripture...
how the geography is described...
with the pigs running down the steep hill into the lake where they drowned.
Also, we know this was a Greek settlement, surrounded by Jewish Settlements.
And since Jews considered pigs unclean, and would never eat them...
obviously they wouldn’t have kept pigs.
So, by that process, they can determine that this is the probable location of this miracle.
In Jesus’ day, there was a harbor with a 10 foot high wall of stones serving as a breakwater---
to protect the fishing boats from the sudden storms on the Sea of Galilee.
in the 5th Century AD, a church and monastery was built here as a service to people who wanted to visit the "Miracle of the Swine".
This monastery was inhabited for 3 centuries, but in the 8th Century AD, it was severely damaged by earthquake and abandoned.
It was only since the 1970’s that this site was found, when bulldozers uncovered archeological evidence of the monastery.
They even found a small chapel near a cave, and tradition ties this cave to the place were the demon-possessed man lived.
This location is now open to the public.
2. The Demon Pleaded with Jesus v. 10, 12
A. As we turn our attention to our Scripture, first of all, I want you to notice that the demon pleaded with Jesus.
Jesus got out of the boat, and this demon-possessed man came to Him.
Even from a distance, the demon recognized the Son of God.
This man, driven by a demon, ran and fell on his knees before Jesus.
Then he shouted at the top of his lungs, "what do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God"?
It is interesting that this demon acknowledged who Jesus is...
when at the same time, the disciples were struggling with that same issue.
They had just seen Jesus calm a storm on the Sea of Galilee on their trip over...
they were probably still shaken up by that event...
and then they see this demon-possessed man acknowledge Christ.
And then the demon says something pretty ironic...
he says, "swear to God that you won’t torture me"
Jesus asked the demon his name...
he said, "Legion, for we are many"
In the Roman army, a "legion" consisted of 6,000 troops.
this man was possessed by many demons, and it made his life a living hell.
In verse 10, the demon pleads with Jesus not to send them out of the area.
In Luke’s version of this miracle, they plead with Jesus not to be thrown into the pit.
They knew where they would be spending eternity...
and they plead with Jesus not to go there yet...
you know it must be pretty bad, if even the demons don’t want to spend their lives there!
B. Jesus was obviously in control.
these demons couldn’t just do what they wanted to do...