Summary: The power of Jesus to change lives
“The MANIAC, The MIRACLE AND The MISSION”
Scripture Reading (18-20)
What is a friend? A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Among the thousands of answers received were the following:
"One who multiplies joys, divides grief, and whose honesty is inviolable."
"One who understands our silence."
"A volume of sympathy bound in cloth."
"A watch that beats true for all time and never runs down."
The winning definition read: "A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out." Bits & Pieces, July, 1991.
Last week we learned what it means to be a friend to Jesus. This week we see the Lord befriending a man that everyone had given up on. He had been written off by those around him. There had been many efforts made on this man’s behalf, usually in the form of bonds and imprisonment all to no avail, but thank God Almighty that Jesus shows up by crossing over to the other side.
I. The Maniac of Gadara.
a. See him chained – v. 3-4
b. See him crying – v. 5a
c. See him cutting – v. 5b
A. His hair was matted together.
B. His face was unshaven.
C. He was foaming arid frothing at the mouth.
D. Blood was flowing from self-inflicted wounds,
E. The clanging of chains could be heard as he dragged them, .
F. He doesn’t wear any clothes or live in a house but dwelled among the tombs.
G The stench of dried pus and soured vomit was unbearable.
H. He would come at you screaming and crying like a wild animal.
A) (v. 2) Unclean- Mark is not reporting only on the man’s "external" but his "internal situation“.
B) (v3.) Unsettled- Look at where he lives. He’s comfortable around dead people,
C) (v, 4) Uncontrollable- No one could calm him or reason with him.
D) (v, 5} Unhappy- He’s depressed, in despair, decadent and demoralized.
F.) (v.6) Unstable- He does not jump up and down rejoicing but falls at the sight of Jesus.
f.) (v. 15) Unclothed- Uncovered, The body was out of control because his head was out of control. Don’t look for things to be right with the body if all hell
has broken into the mind!
II. The Miracle at Gadara.
a. The confrontation –
Jesus left one storm that He calmed that was external in chapter 4 to deal with a human storm that was internal in chapter 5. The grace of God has a way of showing up even in the madness of our situations.
b. The cleansing – 6,000 demons (legion)
Jesus performs an exorcism. "Come out of him.” What sociology couldn’t do Jesus could. What psychology couldn’t do, Jesus could. What philosophy couldn’t do, Jesus could. I’ll tell you that Jesus can do it! Salvation is a supernatural action. Only the Spirit of God can break through into a mind that is soaked in sin.
c. The change
"Was sitting” he was calm
"Was clothed" he was clothed
"And in his right mind” he was civilized
III. The Mission to Gadara.
a. The command – “go,” is also our Lord’s command to each of us!
b. The communication- “tell,” them what great things God has done!
c. The compassion – “He has had compassion on you.”
Paul wrote that “by the grace of God I am what I am.” To this we could also add that by the grace of God “I have what I have,” and by the grace of God “I do what I do.” It is really “all because of God’s amazing grace!”