Summary: Jesus overcomes the demons that have been tormenting a man.
“Victory Over Evil”
June 29, 2008
Me: Ladies in office with computer that talked. Thought it was a demon. The solution for this victory was for the pastor to drive to the church and turn off the computer.
You: Have you ever felt like your life was full of demons?
Two quick points to begin:
1) Demons are very real and very serious.
2) Jesus has authority over all spiritual matters.
God: Today we are going to look at another encounter Jesus had with a demon. This one is a little different in where it takes place, how the demon reacts and how Jesus responds to the demon.
Throughout the book of Mark, we have already seen Jesus cast out demons from people. Mark is painting the picture of the authority of Christ over the spiritual world.
This event happens right after Jesus calmed the storm. That is what we looked at last week. This is what happened once they got to the destination on the other side of the lake.
“They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.” Mark 5:1-5
Jesus and his disciples are going into the land of the Gerasenes. This is the first recorded time that Jesus went specifically into Gentile territory. He has certainly had encounters with Gentiles before, but this is the first time that he has gone to the region in which they live.
This man was deeply troubled. He lived in the tombs and was constantly looking to do harm to himself. In those days, it was very common for the tombs to be placed outside of the village and to be cut out of rock. They basically formed “mini caves” where someone who wanted to live among the tombs could go and find shelter. This man had been sent out of the community because of his behavior and they wanted nothing to do with him. The tombs were a natural place for this man to live because the belief in that day was that evil spirits lived in the tombs. No matter how much they tried to bind him and control him, no one was strong enough to handle him. Scholars agree that this man was as scripture says tormented by demons, and he did anything to try to get rid of the pain that he felt.
Today, many people live among the tombs in our world. They feel outcast, they hurt themselves, and they are shunned. They are the kind of people no one knows what to do with.
What are the “tombs” in our world today?
Pornography, drugs, alcohol, infidelity….
The torment we feel today is very real and very powerful.
“When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won’t torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.” Mark 5:6-10
The demons controlling the man immediately recognized Jesus.
They ran to him and bowed to him. It was not as an act of worship, but an act of respect as one would bow before ones captor.
The demon recognized that he was in the presence of one far superior to himself.
Notice the change in role. The demon, the tormentor, is now the one making deals and trying to escape his fate. Power has shifted from the demonic control to Godly control.
Jesus talks with this demon. He asked his name. The name Legion remains a mystery. A legion was a group of Roman soldiers consisting of over 6,000 men. Many scholars think that it was not one but many demons possessing the man. That is very likely. Whatever the case, the man was unable to act on his own because of the very control the demon had in his life.
Do you ever feel helpless to act on your own? Do you feel like you are under the control of something? It may not be a demon, but the control may be very real.