The Work of the Servant Mark 1:14-8:26, cont’d.
Mark 4:35-6:6 The Demonstration of His Authority, cont’d.
It is nighttime (4:35) when they arrive in the country of the Gerasenes. A man who was demon-possessed and lived in the graveyard approaches them.
Demon Demoniac: “signifies “to be possessed of a demon, to act under the control of a demon.” Those who were thus afflicted expressed the mind and consciousness of the “demon” or “demons” indwelling them, e.g., Luk 8:28. The verb is found chiefly in Matt. and Mark; Mat 4:24; 8:16, 28, 33; 9:32; 12:22; 15:22; Mar 1:32; 5:15, 16, 18; elsewhere in Luk 8:36; and Jhn 10:21, “him that hath a devil (demon).”,
The local townspeople had forced him to live there because of his violent nature and behavior (:3-4). Jesus questions him and discovers that he refers to himself as “Legion”.
“The word ‘legion’ is the designation for a company of Roman soldiers numbering 6,826 men, an emblem of irresistible power and of a multitude organized into unity.”
Word Studies in the Greek New Testament, Kenneth Wuest, vol. 1, p. 103
This signifies the fact that a host, a large number, of demons live in him. Such is the control of the demons over the man that when he speaks Jesus recognizes that it is the collective voice of the demons that He hears and not the voice of the man. The demons know Who Jesus is and beg Him to not “torment” them. Considering the present condition of the man (a social outcast, emotionally anguished, physically suffering, and spiritually depraved, :2-5) we realize this to be the condition in which the demons are most comfortable and don’t want to leave. Imagine then, what Hell must be like, how much worse it will be…where they will face torment for all of eternity…if they are comfortable with the condition they are now in. Why do demons want to inhabit a human’s body? It has been suggested that before they were cast out of Heaven (cf. http://www.gotquestions.org/one-third-angels.htmlf), the demons had a body…but, that when they were cast out they became disembodied spirits. Now, while they are dwelling in the earthly realm, they constantly seek to reenter into a bodily form…be it that of man, or animal. It is interesting that they implore Him by “God”. Don’t ever be surprised when people who are not submitted (or even opposed) to God try to use God for their own advantage and benefit…as a bargaining chip. The demons ask that they be allowed to go into a herd of pigs that was grazing, nearby. Jesus agrees to allow them to do so, then commands the demons to come out of the man.
The herdsmen keeping the pigs ran into town and reported what had just happened. When the townspeople came to see for themselves they found the man who had been previously possessed by the demons (spiritually healed), sitting down (emotionally healed…calm, in control), clothed (socially healed), in his right mind (mentally, physically healed…not harming himself). Instead of being thrilled for the recovery of the man…they were troubled over the loss of the pigs. The people became “frightened”, and yet, their response was not one of reverence. They told Jesus to leave. Perhaps they had other pigs in the area and were afraid of losing them, as well.
Mark 5:18-20-The man who had been demon-possessed asked Jesus if he could go with Him. But Jesus told him to go back home and tell the people “what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you” (:19). He did just that…telling the people who lived in “Decapolis” (a region to the southeast of the Sea of Galilee where there were 10 cities) what great things Jesus had done for him. Did you notice that Jesus told him to tell what great things the “Lord” had done for him, and Mark says he told them what great things “Jesus” had done for him. This is a subtle reference to the Trinity. The next time Jesus comes to this area the people are more receptive to Him (Mark 7:31). Could it have been because of the testimony of this man? Are the people who live in your area more receptive to Jesus because of your testimony? This incident is another visual proof (authentication) of His authority for when He speaks, of His verbal proclamation (this time over the spiritual realm).
Prayer: Lord, please help me to always be ready and willing to tell people about the great things that You have done for me! Help me Lord, when You are working in my life…to recognize those things and be in reverence and awe of You.