Summary: Isn’t it amazing that people in Jesus day were so blind, while the demons were so clear about who Jesus was?
The miracle in Gadara.
Mark 5:1 -- 20. 11/23/03
Down in South Carolina, there was this area part swamp land and wooded area pretty far from any house. One evening I decided I would go hunting in that area. I would carry my bow and arrows and tree stand about a mile and one-half back in the wilderness. At dark, it was time to go so I stood in my tree stand and when I did I heard this awful growl. It sounded like it was at the bottom of my tree. And wouldn’t you know it, it was exactly in the direction I was going to have to leave. Can you imagine all the images that came in mind just from that awful sound? I may have set the record in the time it took me to carry all my gear for about 1 ½ miles to my truck.
In our text this morning we have something that had to be a frightful experience for the disciples. The Bible says they came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gadarenes. When they exited the boat, here comes this FRIGHTENING CREATURE. Look at verses 1 -- 5.
A man with an evil spirit ran from the tombs to meet them. An evil spirit means the man was demon possessed.
Most people have difficulty picturing the awful sight of this man. Here he comes bloody, out of control, frightening and apparently strong. The disciples had just been through a terrifying storm at the sea and here comes this man at them. He was indeed a frightening creature.
We see not only the frightening creature but also the FEARFUL DEMONS. The demons first question was, what do you, Son of the most High God, want with me?
Isn’t it amazing that people in Jesus day were so blind, while the demons were so clear about who Jesus was? And the demons ask the question what do you want with me?
No one today would like to admit to being demon possessed or to bear the appearance of this man. But you listen! Most of our society, like the demon is screaming at God, and his church and Christian values, get out of my life. When a person rejects Jesus and his authority, he is putting himself on the side of the demons and heading in the same direction.
We have in our text the frightening creature, the fearful demons, but we also have a FAITHFUL SAVIOR.
Jesus needed nothing more than a quick word to expel the mighty demons and they went. Then Jesus ask what is your name? Jesus gained mastery over the demon by finding out its name. The demons said my name is legion for we are many. A legion was the largest unit of the Roman army. It consisted of 3 to 6000 soldiers. This man was not possessed by one but many demons. And they begged Jesus not to send them out of the area. There was a heard of pigs close by and they ask Jesus to permit them to enter the heard of pigs. He said go. Now Jesus did not command that they enter the heard of pigs, He gave them permission. The demons had no final authority but could only do what God permits.
Why didn’t Jesus just destroy these demons or at least send them away? Because the time for such work as this had not yet come. Jesus healed many people that was processed with demons but he did not destroy the demons. Jesus hasn’t stopped all the evil in the world for that time has not yet come. But it will come. The book of Revelation betrays the future victory of Jesus over the devil and demons and all evil. The devil knows his days are numbered. He even knows where he is going.
The demons destroyed the pigs. They accomplished in the pigs what they wanted to accomplish in the man. The pigs drowning is not the saddest news we find in the texts. The saddest words and actions are found in our last point, the FOOLISH GROUP.
The demons destroyed the pigs which hurt the finances of those attending the pigs. A man had been freed from the devil’s power but they thought more of their livestock. They would rather give up Jesus than lose their source of income. Jesus did as they ask and as far as we know, He never returned.
There before them stood the only way to eternal life in heaven and they said go. They preferred the pigs. Do you know Jesus as your savior?