Jesus and the Gadarene Demoniac
Mark 5: 1-20
Demon possession is a very controversial issue not only for new believers but also for the long time Christians. A lot of confusion, fear, and hearsays together with the Hollywood portrayals add to the never ending discussion about this topic. It is a generally accepted fact now from any religion that demons or evil spirits really exist. When I was working in Libya, I heard also of people that are possessed by the devil.
I. Demonic Power and Unrest (v. 1-5)
A. What are the characteristics of the demon-possessed man?
1. Had extraordinary physical strength (v. 4) – chains and fetters used to restrain his feet, cannot hold this man, I’ve seen a woman possessed and 4 men have difficulty holding her. Demoniacs show tremendous strength.
2. Always day and night among the tombs and mountains (v.5) – restless no direction in life. A man physically alive living on tombs is not normal.
3. Crying (v. 5) – miserable, in tears.
4. Cutting himself (v. 5) – mutilation, destroying his own body.
II. Characteristics of a Spirit Filled life (Galatians 5:22-23). But the fruit of the Spirit is:
Try to compare between the Spirit filled life and the demon possessed life. You would notice that the difference is very wide or exactly the opposite. I honestly think that all of us want to experience the fruit of the Spirit in our lives. Even the most hardened criminal will admit that if they have a chance they would change for the better. In your daily life now, which one influences your life, the Holy Spirit or the Devil?
III. Jesus’ Power and universal dominion (6-13)
1. What did the demon possessed man did when he saw Jesus? He ran toward Jesus, as he does probably to all people who go to that place. His intention maybe was to scare Him or to drive Him away. But when he recognized Jesus he realized he was facing the God so he worships Him.
2. Christ Divinity was acknowledge by the demon possessed man (v.7)
3. Who was really the one speaking? (v.8, 9) – The demons, legion in Roman military term is around 6000 men)
4. Since the demons were afraid of Jesus, why did the demon- possessed man run to Jesus? I honestly think that the man possessed by demons, longed for rescue or release from his miserable, scary, and detestable condition so he used his tiny or small free will (remember there is struggle within the man) to run to Jesus. This means there is always hope or nobody is hopeless.)
5. Why did the demon have to beg Jesus? – Jesus has power and authority over them. The demons also wants Jesus to not to let them go to the place they never want.
Demons are evil or unclean spirits (Mk. 1:23, Mk. 132-34, Rev. 16:13-16), and are fallen angels, servants of Satan (Mt. 12:26-27). There is only one devil but myriads of demons that serve the devil, and make his power practically universal. A demoniac is a person whose personality has been invaded by one or more demons, who at will can speak and act through their human victim, deranging both mind and body. (Unger’s Bible Handbook)
IV. What should we do with a person who is possessed by demons?
1. Cast out the demons in the name of Jesus but you must do this humbly. Acts 19:13-16 is a very good warning. Christians has the authority to cast out demons in the name of Jesus Christ. Prayer, and fasting can be of great help (Mk. 9:29). We can overcome the devil also by the blood of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:11).
2. After the demon is cast out, the formerly possessed person should be led to receive Jesus as Savior, otherwise the demon will return.
V. Different Reactions to Jesus vs. 14-20)
1. What changes had come to the man? (v. 15) – he was healed, and in his right mind, his character was changed. Christ healed and transformed him.
2. What were the response of the herdsmen and the people? (v. 14, 15) – The people were curious of what has happened.
3. Why were the people scared and why did they reject Jesus? The following may be explanation:
a.) They had lost their property, If Jesus stayed, they might lose more financially. Their material things are more important than Jesus.
b.) They were ungodly, and don’t want to change their old ways…
4. What was the desire of the man who was healed by Jesus? (v. 18). He wants to be with Jesus.
5. What did Jesus commanded him? (v.19). Go home and tell what Jesus hath done to him
6. Did the man obey? yes of course.
7. What is the characteristic of a man who truly accepts Christ? – Obedience
8. What was the result of this man’s obedience? (v. 20) people marveled and God was glorified.
Christ is more powerful than the devil and his cohorts. If Christ can change a demon possessed man. He can change you too. Come to Christ; trust Him for your salvation.
Preached: 09 June 2013