Summary: This is a message in a series I preached on Witnesses of Jesus Christ. Each message is preceded by a dramatic monologue, which is included.


(Adapted from a drama originally performed by Curt Cloninger)

“You go way from me.

You go way from me.

I know who you are, Jesus; I know who you are!

You a holy man; You a holy man

Don’t come up here by me; don’t come up here by me!

No! No no no no no!

Don’t come up here; don’t come up here!

My name Legion; Legion

No you don’t come up here, no!

No don’t’ come up here, no!

Send me to those pigs over there!

No don’t come up here!

No don’t; don’t!

No don’t!”

COLLAPSES, THEN TAKES HIS TIME GETTING UP. He has been delivered and gets up from his face a different man. He begins to slowly toss off the chains that have bound him.

(Speaks in baby-like, child-like wonder) “This is, this is, way I was.”

You…you, you, you don’t know what it’s like…what it’s like…live in caves, and that’s where they put dead people, and you live in caves and people run away from you and they scream things when they see you and they run away from you and you live in caves and nobody touch you, nobody touch you…

‘Fraid they might get what you got. You don’t know what that’s like, do you? It’s not good. I…I just wanted someone to not be afraid of me.

He’s not afraid of me. He touched me on the hand, see, made the bad things go away. And now, I can breathe again. That’s good. That’s very good. He…he told me if I wanted to, if I wanted to, I could sing songs, I could sing things if I wanted to, I could sing songs.

(SINGS) “Shout for joy…” (pause) “shout for joy, o heavens; rejoice o earth, and burst into song, o mountains, for God comforts his people, God comforts His people”. SHOUT FOR JOY O HEAVENS!”


The Wild Man

Mark 5:1-20

April 13, 2003

The “chamber of horrors” at the amusement park isn’t really all that frightening, nor is the Halloween fright house. Why? Because we know that it is all staged, it is all an act, and there is no danger to us. None of the boogers will jump out and get us; none of the blood is real; the frightening, haunting sounds are just clever sound effects, and have no connection to reality.

But imagine traveling by boat down the coastline of a large lake and hearing hideous shrieking, screams of dementia, sounds of the possessed echoing among the caves on the shoreline and bouncing across the water. Imagine looking up and seeing naked wild men, prancing about and menacing any who would dare come near. And it is all a reality, not something out of Waldemere’s House of Horrors or out of a Stephen King novel. You sail along hoping that you don’t get a leak in the boat and have to go to shore anywhere near there!

This is the picture we get when we read Mark’s account of this story in chapter 5.

A young, unconventional professor at a stuffy New England prep school succeeds in instilling in his young charges a deep zest for life, for becoming more than the program had called for, for living life to its fullest. This is the plot line, of course, of the critically-acclaimed film Dead Poets’ Society. Early in the film, in a poignant scene which sets the tone for the remainder of the movie, the teacher, played by Robin Williams, takes his students to view the school archives, to look at the dusty, musty images of their predecessors, members of a bygone generation, dapper, nattily-attired young men full of the vigor of youth. After paying due deference to their memory, the young teacher points his charges to one important fact: all of these once-noble, once-optimistic, forward-looking young men were now…dead. The inference was that, of course, one day it would be the faces of his students who would be looked back upon by future generations; these young men would one day be dead as well. And the conclusion? Carpe diem; seize the day.

For the individual upon whom we focus today, as has been true of Bartimaeus and Jairus, our two previous studies, it might be said that opportunity knocks once. This is a truism for many people. Bartimaeus had one opportunity to seek healing from Jesus; Jairus’ daughter lay dead in her bed. Both seized the opportunity to receive healing from Jesus; today, we look at a wild man with the same opportunity.

Jesus’ one recorded visit to this wild man’s territory is recorded for us in Mark 5. The region is described for us as the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. In this area, there was a sharp dropoff from the mainland to the sea. Caves in this hillside served as tombs for citizenry of the predominantly Gentile territory. Christ’s ministry here set a precedent for His teaching later that the gospel would not be the exclusive domain of Israel, but rather that it represents good news to the nations.

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