Our text starts in Mark 5:1-20.
1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the
country of the Gadarenes.
2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met
him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
3 who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
4 because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him.
5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him.
7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
10 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.
11 Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding.
12 And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. 13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand:) and were choked in the sea.
14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.
16 And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine.
17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
I am always amazed at how Jesus is always able to separate the person from the problem.
We have such a hard time doing that. We see a person caught in chains of sin and we
become disgusted at the person instead of the sin.
Dottie Rambo wrote a song that said he looked beyond my fault and saw my need.
Jesus always looks beyond the fault.
He frees the person from the hold of the sin.
You see, with Jesus you can be what you never could before.
A madman can become a preacher. (verse 19) A wildman can become a family man.
This man in this text is a raving madman. He is naked. He lives in a graveyard. He lives in
isolation, the tombs.
He is uncontrolable and chains won't hold him. He's self-destructive. He cuts himself.
To the Jews of that day, even to touch a grave, was to be unclean for 7 days. (Numbers
Demonic spirits will drive people to that which is unclean. They drive people to mark
and destroy their own flesh.
No laws could change this man. Chains couldn't hold him.
No code of moral standards could free him.
He didn't need a chain, he needed a change.
For years religion has tried to change people by a code of laws and a list of don'ts:
No hair cutting.
I am not saying that these things are alright. Most of us know what Christian behavior is and
is not. I am saying that a list of laws won't change your heart, and that's the part that needs
Jesus can do a heart transplant from the inside out and leaves no scars. (Ezekiel 11:19 and
Jesus can make a change from the inside out. (II Corinthians 5:17)
I believe it takes conversion to change a life and that conversion only comes by the work
This man knew his life was all wrong. The Bible says he spent his nights and his days crying
and hurting himself.
Most of us have been like that or we know someone who has been or is like that.
Maybe he was crying because, in spite of his best efforts, he could not go home.
Maybe he missed his family, but when they tried to talk to him he only hurt them.
Maybe he longed for the fellowship of his friends who just couldn't stand to be around him
Maybe he found himself heart-broken but unable to change because the demon is in control.
He probably didn't start out that way, but now he is in the trap.
But now his crying has been heard even from afar off.
Jesus has heard.
I believe that back in chapter 4 when Jesus said, Let us go over to the other side, he knew
exactly where he was going and who was there, because he heard him crying.
Now look at verse 15. He is sitting, finally resting, clothed and in his right mind.
With Jesus you can be what you never could before.
In verse 19, Jesus tells him, You can go home now.
Now he can be the husband he always wanted to be.
Now he can be the dad he was never able to be before.
Now he can witness to others who have lost their hope, and say, I was a madman, but now
I am free.
Now he can look at the one bound in sin and say, there, but for the grace of God go I, and
reach out a hand to the one in despair.
With Jesus you can be what you never could before.
In verses 6 & 7, this man ran to Jesus and worshipped him, but at the same time said,
Jesus don't torment me.
We see this today. People come to church or to the altar, but at the same time that thing that
has them bound crys out, Don't torment me, Jesus.
Don't make me change my lifestyle.
Don't ask me to give the unclean thing up.
Don't ask me to change my surroundings.
This man, once he was delivered, could no longer live in the graveyard. Jesus told him to go
home. Leave the unclean behind.
Jesus will set you free, but you must leave the graveyard behind.
The devil is a cruel master, whether it be man or pigs, his end is destruction.
He is the tormenter.
Jesus is the friend that sticks closer than a brother and says, Do thyself no harm.
He has heard you crying.
He is here to help.Jesus said, Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I
will give you rest.
The Lord spoke in Isaiah chapter 1 and said, Come now and let us reason together, saith
the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow, though they be red like crimson they shall be as wool.
The first words God spoke to Adam after Adam had fallen. Where art thou?
Today, where are you?
Who is controling your life?
Satan? Influences of this world? Pursuit of wealth? Fear?
Does he have you bound or maybe you say, I am in control.
The devil won't mind you believing that. If we think we can live and control our own destiny
then Satan wins anyway.
Reject God and Satan has you. It doesn't matter if you believe in him or not.
Satan is called the prince of this world. Allow what the world does to
influence you, and Satan is still controlling indirectly.
How about turning the control over to Jesus and then you can be safe.
With Jesus it is by choice, not by chains.