In chapter 5, we learn of the power of Jesus as He stepped from a boat and immediately met a demon-possessed man with an unclean spirit. This man had lived among the tombs. No one could control him. Matthew 8 and Luke 8 support this same story. This man’s life was controlled by Satan who roams around deceiving the whole world! How can we protect ourselves from the daily power of Satan? In James 4:7, we are told to submit ourselves to God and to resist the devil and he will flee from us!
Among this man’s problems three disasters surfaced before the other people: (1) social isolation in the tombs, (2) superhuman strength and (3) self-destructive behavior. The demon even consumed the man’s voice! Can we imagine seeing him cutting himself with stones, while wrenching shackles and chains apart? These activities were continued night and day under demonic influence.
The same Jesus, who was obeyed by the winds and waves earlier in the Book of Mark, appeared from afar. The man ran, fell down in submission before Jesus. Perhaps he finally recognized Jesus’ greater power! He might have suddenly wanted freedom from the demonic influence. In this same time frame, the demon surprisingly took over the man’s voice! Jesus, with a sense of mercy, had asked the demon to come out of this man as he also asked for his name. “Legion” was the reply as he admitted that many demons existed. While pleading for mercy, he also asked Jesus not to send them out of the area. The demons begged Jesus to send them among the pigs. How did Jesus honor this request? Jesus gave them permission. The impure spirits came out and went into the pigs! About two thousand of them rushed down a steep embankment into the lake and drowned.
This news caused much excitement in that area. How did Jesus respond again? Once again we can discern the mighty power of our Lord and Savior. With the unlimited power of Jesus the onlooker saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons sitting there. He was clothed in his right mind! The crowd became frightened. Other people were told about this miracle. We do not understand why, but people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
How did the man feel about the Savior who had freed him of demons? How did Jesus feel? As Jesus was getting into the boat, this same man begged to go with Him. Jesus did not take him, but gave him an opportunity to witness to others about the power of our Lord. The NIV translation tells us through Mark 5:19 to “go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” The man testified and people were amazed at the goodness of our Lord Jesus! The man begged Jesus not to punish him or send them from the area.
Let us continue to tell others about the goodness of Jesus and also thank Him for salvation. With the help of Jesus, this man’s life was transformed. Before he met Jesus, he had been extremely rebellious earlier and had lived undisciplined, spiritually unclean and was hurting inside. People were afraid of this man. We have the victory! There is no power like Jesus! Think and list what Jesus has done in our lives that needs to be told to others. With continued growth spiritually, let us study the Bible and learn about the goodness of Jesus and also thank Him for Salvation!
Mrs. Gladys R. McElmore, a resident of Norfolk’s Middle Town Arch Community, is a New Journal and Guide Freelance Contributor on religion. She is a native of Essex County, Va.