Summary: How God loves us amazingly...
I am a basketball maniac. When I was working as a youth pastor at Philadelphia Church near this area, I made a basketball team and we went into five different Korean Basketball tournament. Guess what, we won four out of five tournaments in a row. I really like basketball and I love playing and watching the basketball games. One time I was watching the NBA playoff LA Lakers versus Portland Trail Blazers. I was really amazed by the player name Kobe Bryant because I didn¡¯t know whom that guy was until that time. He played really well in the game and he scored 36 points. I started to like him more and more by the time goes by, and I even bought his rookie card. But right after I found out his age, I was so shocked and disappointed by myself.
He was only 18 years at that time and he even went to play in All-Star game. ¡°What a guy?¡± Now, I was looking at my present life and started to think, ¡°What am I doing now at the age of 26, I am almost 10 years older than this guy.¡± Boy, I was so depressed and I felt like I was a total loser. After that time on, I got the bad habit and that was to compare myself with others. If I write an exam, the first thing I did was to ask anyone around me how they did. I couldn¡¯t love myself, I didn¡¯t like my personality, and I was not pleased on the things that I was doing.
But through the scripture reading today, I was able to figure out my clear identity as a Christian, as a Son of God, and as a servant of Jesus Christ. That¡¯s why I want to share with you this message, in this very first meeting between you and me today. Through this scripture, we (Christians) will be able to look at our past, present and future.
One day, Jesus happened to go across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, there was a man with an evil spirit came to meet Jesus. In the scripture, we can see what kind of circumstances that this evil man was going through. Let¡¯s identify a few characters about the man.
1) This man lived in the tombs (v.3): Which means he was totally separated from others and lived all by himself. People kicked him out of the village.
2) He tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet (v.4): When people kicked him out of the village, others bound his hands and feet with the chains and the irons. But now he is out of control he tore the chains apart and broke the irons. Nobody could stop him from doing the evil things.
3) He would cry out (v.5): Ah-Ah~~~ His frustrations and unsatisfied desires are blowing up.
4) He would cut himself with stones (v.5b): There must be scars and blood all over his body.
5) Mental Condition (v.7): ¡°What do you want with me, Jesus?¡± He is trying to deny Jesus by saying ¡°You have nothing to do with me!¡± ¡°Why are you here?¡±
By a single word, the man with an evil spirit totally lost the image of God which God created in him. His life is just the opposite from the purpose that God gave him, and now he is even saying that ¡®God has nothing to do with him.¡¯
Now, let us find out what caused him this problem. Aren¡¯t you guys being curious about the reason why? How did he get into this situation, and why does he have to suffer? According to the scripture, it is very obvious that everything has happened because the evil came into his mind. But let us figure out in detail on why did evil came in his mind? There is no clear answer for this question in the Bible; but we can reason it by looking at the scripture more deeply.
Let us read verse 9 together. ¡°Then Jesus asked him, ¡°What is your name?¡± ¡°My name is Legion,¡± he replied, ¡°for we are many.¡± What is the name of this evil man? His name is ¡®Legion¡¯. The evil that¡¯s in his mind was called ¡®Legion¡¯. The ¡®Legion¡¯ is an army corps constructed with 5-6,000 soldiers. The evil in his mind is so many that it can be compared with 5-6,000 soldiers. Wow, isn¡¯t it amazing? Probably I am the only one who is really excited about this.
In verse 20, we can see that the evil man was from ¡®Decapolis¡¯. Decapolis means 10 counties. 10 counties gathered together and formed a city and that was called ¡®Decapolis¡¯. The ten original members towns were Scythopolis, Pella, Dion, Gerasa, Philadelphia, Gadara, Raphana, Kanatha, Hippos, and Damascus.