Summary: God wants us to understand the implications of demonization and the battle in which we are engaged.
The Ultimate Deviled Ham
1. Our new current series, “Jesus’ Amazing Ministry Up North” covers Mark 5-9, and focuses on Jesus’ ministry in the region of Galilee, the northern province of Israel.
2. Today’s sermon is about thousands of demons inhabiting thousands of swine. This is the ultimate case of deviled ham.
3. Demons are fallen angels who followed Lucifer in his rebellion against God. Lucifer, Star of the Morning, became known as Satan, the adversary. His angels became known as demons or evil or unclean spirits.
4. Mark 16:9 tells us Mary Magdalene had been possessed by seven demons.
In Luke 11:26, Jesus tells a parable where a man is exorcised of a demon, and then later indwelt by seven demons, we assume because he has not filled the void with the Lord.
But here we see many demons — perhaps two thousand or more — indwelling one man.
Main Idea: God wants us to understand the implications of demonization and the battle in which we are engaged.
I. Learning from the EVENT Itself (1-20)
A. Actually TWO men, but one is the focus
B. A GENTILE region
This was a predominantly gentile region in Galilee, and gentiles are famous for their love of pork. Still many Jews around.
The demonized man mentioned here was probably Jewish.
C. Cemeteries: pagans performed RITUALS to their gods
1. a haunt for demons
2. Demons are behind false religions and idols
3. Most demon worship is not recognized as demon worship
I Corinthians 10:19-20, “What do I imply then? That food offered to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, I imply that what pagans sacrifice they offer to demons and not to God. I do not want you to be participants with demons.”
D. This man could not be BOUND
• One sign of demonization is supernatural strength…
E. The demons RECOGNIZED Jesus’ authority
• Philippians 2:10 preview — every knee will bow
• Difference is bowing by choice or constraint
• Same is true with church attendance, obeying God
• When we obey freely, we are godly; when under constraint, ungodly
• Not just what we do, but WHY we do it that matters
F. Names signify NATURE
G. Pigs served as a LIGHTNING rod
1. Demons bent on destruction
2. All were surprised at how the demons responded
3. We do not know where the demons went
II. Contemplating the LESSONS We Can Learn
A. Satan and his demons are ALIVE and well
John MacArthur writes, “In more advanced societies, a person who is seriously deranged by demons is likely to be considered insane and placed in a mental institution, and it seems certain that many people who are diagnosed as mentally ill are actually demonized.” [MacArthur New Testament Commentary, Matthew 8-15, p. 42].
1. Demonization can be a judgment from God (i.e., King Saul)
2. A consequence of pagan worship, occult practice
3. Some demons like to stay put (in families, locations, haunted houses)
4. Demons love attention and destruction
5. Average believer’s defense: the armor of God, prayer, name of Jesus
B. Jesus is SOVEREIGN and came to destroy the works of the devil
• This is why “praying at all times in the Spirit” is an important habit (18)
C. We and others suffer LOSS in the crossfire of spiritual warfare
Sometimes you hear of a police chase that causes an accident; bystanders are either injured or killed… same thing in spiritual warfare…
Great numbers of Christians have been killed in battles because Muslim extremists want to take over a country… caught in spiritual warfare… Same thing with communism or the Nazis — not always presented as between God and Satan…
Matthew 1034-37 reads, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. “
• Spiritual warfare is often behind things like divorce
• alienation from family members
• getting fired
• church conflicts
D. Some people are CONVICTED by Jesus’ power, others AFRAID
When Jesus’ power was evident with the catch of fish, (Luke 5:8), Peter asked to the Lord to depart from him because he was unworthy. The unbelieving gentiles of this region, however, asked Jesus to depart because they were afraid he would hurt them and their enterprise. Same two responses to God today.
E. God places US where Jesus is not welcomed