Summary: Lessons from a super-possessed-man in Mark 5:1-22 to dealing with the quarantine and social distance because of Coronavirus Pandemic.
Jesus and his disciples one day visited the Gerasanes beach in the eastern part of Lake Galilee (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-22 and Luke 8:26-39). Now, maybe the village of Kursi, 12 Km to the north, the city of Gadara. This area is less populated and possibly at the time of Jesus, this place made as a cemetery and a place to graze cattle. Their purpose come to the place to enjoy a momentary break from ministry so they would eat and sleep (Mark 3:20).1
When Jesus and the disciples had just arrived at Gerasanes beach, they met an extraordinary person, someone who was greater than the storm last night, someone we might call "super human" or "superman" (Mark and Luke wrote only a man, whereas Matthew wrote there were two men, I followed the writings of Mark and Luke). He came running and seemed to attack Jesus.
The Bible explains that this person is a superman. Consider the description of Mark and Luke about him: First, he is super strong because he can break all the iron chains that bind him and no one can tie him (Mark 5:3, 4) also he has a unique habit where he likes to hit himself with a stone (Mark 5:5). Second, he is super brave because day and night he roams between the cemetery and on the hills screaming (Mark 5:5). Third, he was super smelly, because he lived in a cemetery, among decomposed corpses (Mark 5:2). Fourth, he was super naked, because Luke wrote that he not worn a clothed (Luke 8:27), so he ran naked to Jesus. An extraordinary sight for the disciples.
The fifth, the last but most extraordinary, this man is super possessed, because the Bible says that the evil spirits who possessed him call his name as Legion (Mark 5:9). The word Legion, referring to the number of soldiers in a Roman army division which at that time comprised about 6,000 foot soldiers and 700 horsemen, so the total number was 6,700 soldiers. So this person possessed by many demon spirits.2
This superman lives alone in a cemetery with the most despicable circumstances. He lives alienated from social life. His life habits quarantined him. People keep their distance from him and don't want to be in touch with him because they terrified of him. He lives like an animal and dominated by demons.
The Spirit of Prophecy writes about this super-possessed-man condition of life and Satan's purpose to make humanity like him. "The encounter with the demoniacs of Gergesa had a lesson for the disciples. It showed the depths of degradation to which Satan is seeking to drag the whole human race, and the mission of Christ to set men free from his power. Those wretched beings, dwelling in the place of graves, possessed by demons, in bondage to uncontrolled passions and loathsome lusts, represent what humanity would become if given up to satanic jurisdiction. Satan's influence is constantly exerted upon men to distract the senses, control the mind for evil, and incite to violence and crime. He weakens the body, darkens the intellect, and debases the soul. Whenever men reject the Saviour's invitation, they are yielding themselves to Satan. Multitudes in every department in life, in the home, in business, and even in the church, are doing this today. It is because of this that violence and crime have overspread the earth, and moral darkness, like the pall of death, enshrouds the habitations of men. Through his specious temptations Satan leads men to worse and worse evils, till utter depravity and ruin are the result.”3
Looking at the super-possessed-man state of life, let us examine our present life: Are we living in bondage to uncontrolled passions and filled with loathsome lusts? Do we feel superiority and forgetting God? Are we very busy with works and forget to worship? Do we busy to search all the world treasures and forgotten the Creator? Do we feel more spiritually like the Laodiceans and ignore Jesus' atoning work? If the answer to each of the questions above is Yes, then it's time for us to repent.
Thank God because Jesus and the disciples came on that Gerasanes beach so that the super-possessed-man had hope to saved. The Spirit of Prophecy explained "The disciples and their companions fled in terror… He who had stilled the tempest, who had before met Satan and conquered him, did not flee before these demons. When the men, gnashing their teeth, and foaming at the mouth, approached Him, Jesus raised that hand which had beckoned the waves to rest, and the men could come no nearer. They stood raging but helpless before Him. With authority He bade the unclean spirits come out of them. His words penetrated the darkened minds of the unfortunate men. They realized dimly that One was near who could save them from the tormenting demons.”4