“Appreciating the Lord’s Goodness”
Mark 5:1, 2
- Last week I preached a sermon titled “It is no secret.”
- That said, we found out that there are no secrets. God knows everything.
- If you have been a Christian for very long at all, then you will also know that “For all have sinned, and there is none righteous, no not one.”
- We also know that at the time of our birth, Satan is our father. Sin is an automatic nature we possess.
- Once we have accepted Christ as the Lord and Savior of our life, then God adopts us into the Kingdom of Heaven and He is our new Father.
- Every saved person has a testimony to tell about their salvation or some experience they had that brought them to salvation or a closer walk with the Lord.
- My questions for you are these… Who have you told? How many have you told? Are you still telling of God’s goodness to you?
- If you do not tell others of your life with Christ, then you do not appreciate what He has done for you!
I. The Root of the Problem
A) Unclean spirit
- Mark 5:1…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,
- Let us examine the term “unclean spirit.”
- It refers to a demon who was controlling this man.
- Today, all of us have such demons that control us.
- The problem here is that the man this demon possessed let it get out of hand. The demon went unchecked.
- Children of the devil have no control of their bodies because they lack the power to do so.
- Children of God have the power of God through Jesus Christ which allows them to keep the devil in check.
- “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)” Satan does not like people who are in control.
B) Unclean behavior
- An unclean spirit leads to unclean behavior.
- Before we were saved, we were unclean. Our behavior unclean. Our life unclean. Our future unclean.
- Look at the unclean behavior of this man…
- Verse 3) Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:
This verse tells me of several unclean things… 1) He surrounded himself with death. No life around him. Always cold in caves never warm. His speech was limited to those who could not respond…dead people.
- Verse 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.
He was a very strong person. No man could control him. This verse also tells us that many have tried to see if they could chain him up and try to control him. They could not.Basically he had become an animal, a wild man. A person to be feared.
- Verse 5) And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.
Sin leaves people very miserable once it has consumed your entire being. Unclean people are not accepted in society, especially children of God. So then the unclean person must find a place away from everybody else as to not bother, affect or infect them with their presence.
- Unclean hearts lead to an unclean behavior, living, an unclean desire, unclean thoughts, unclean actions, and unclean friends.
II. Looking for a Cure
A) Realizing your condition
- For a person to be healed from any sickness, disease, or ailment of any kind you have to realize that you need help.
- This man who was being controlled by demons had to first realize that he had a problem, second, look for someone to help you with curing or resolving the issue at hand. Professional, not a friend.
B) Seek help (seek a cure)
- Let us look further into Mark 5, and verse 6… But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
- Friends are a great help many times. But not good help until they help you to find a person that s a professional doctor, or qualified physician.
- This man was controlled by demons and the demons recognized Jesus and the man went to Jesus seeking help.
- Satan and his minions know Jesus.
- Now look at Verse 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.
- Note that the demons recognized Jesus as what? “Son of the most high God” He was not an idol god, he was THE GOD! “The most high God” which is a term used by the ancient Jews to describe the God of their forefather Abraham.
C) A cure can become difficult
- There are some diseases or ailments or as in this case possessions that can require a lot of work. A lot of study on the matter, a lot of power or strength on the part of the indwelling evil spirit.
- Like Polio, Small Pox, Anthrax and our most recent COVID or Coronavirus, it took a long time to come up with a vaccine and many died waiting for a cure.
- Note the struggle Jesus had with this demon…
- The demon recognizes the power of Jesus and realizes that he is in danger of being judged and punished for his acts upon this man when the demon says… “I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” Meaning, “I implore (beg) you Jesus, to judge us lightly.”
- Isn’t this going to be like the scene at the great white throne judgment when people will be pleading to God for their sentence to be lightened?
- Look at Jesus response in verse 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.
- His name was “Legion.” That name is a Latin term common to Jews and Greeks that describes a Roman military unit of 6,000 infantrymen.
- Basically this verse is telling us that this man was not being controlled by “one” particular demon, but many!
- Now the demon begging in verse 10) And he (the demon) besought (begged) him (Jesus) much that he would not send them away out of the country.
- Why does the demon beg for this request of not kicking him out of the country (area)?
- Like any sinful state that a person gets into, they wish to stay in the same area, with the same friends, the same sins, the same results… they become accustomed to that lifestyle and it is hard to leave it.
- To take up and leave to try and change is near impossible.
- The demons were happy there in that “country” because they had been obviously exercising their powers there for years with good results. WHY? They faced no opposition.
- Again, what does Jesus tell us? “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
- Anyone of you who have been addicted to something for very long, understand the difficulty of quitting or breaking a habit.
III. The Work to be Done
A) Jesus Fights our battles
- You remember that “God chooses us,” we do not choose Him (God).
- God chose this man to be healed of these demons to bring glory to himself through His Son and that the world will recognize Jesus as the Son of God, and the Prince of Peace in the hearts of those who choose to be obedient.
- God’s judgment about to be given. And a decision is made by God through His Son Jesus in verse 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.
- We all know that “swine (pigs)” are considered to be “unclean” animals by the Jews. So, for the demons to ask Jesus to “send us into the swine” may mean that the swine were owned by Gentile or Jews who were not concerned about the Law.
- Note verse 13) And forthwith Jesus gave them leave (permission). 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.
- Jesus gives the permission to the demons to enter into the swine.
- I believe that this judgment of God has a twofold purpose…
- To convert a sinner (remove the Legion from this man)
- To judge the rebellious (punish those who reject Him)
IV. The Testimony Begins
A) Observing the truth
- Now look into Mark 5 and verse 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.
- This man that was possessed by a Legion was well known by everyone as a marked person to be avoided at all costs.
- There are bad people in this world and there are really bad people.
- Anyone with any kind of common sense will not go near him.
- What is the truth? The truth was this…
- He WAS a man “possessed with the devil.” (controlled by Satan)
- He “…had the legion” (He was possessed by man demons)
- He was “sitting!” (No one had seen him sit still for a second.)
- He was “clothed!” (before he was unclothed, or barely clothed)
- He was “in his right mind:” (not a wild maniac!)
- This was an obvious change made that was so drastic that it caused people to take note of the powers that Jesus possessed over demons and in the life of anyone who struggles and asks for help!
- This is the testimony!
- “With God all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26)
B) Rejecting the truth
- Look at Mark 5:16… 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 (Land owners and residents of the area/country) began to pray him (Jesus) to depart out of their coasts.
- In the eyes of sinners without belief in Christ, the unwilling to be obedient…they are blinded and unable to see the truth.
- The sad thing is…they witnessed the change in a man that all counted for as lost! Jesus found him and cured him.
- All these people saw was that one of their dear friends who had a lot of money in his stock of swine…now bankrupt. Swine dead.
- So they ask Jesus to leave because He brought grief to them.
C) Finding Truth in God’s will
- Look at verse 18) And when he (Jesus) was come into the ship, he (the man) that had been possessed with the devil prayed him (Jesus) that he The man himself) might be with him (Jesus).
- Pay attention here folks! God does not have the same goal, or the same desire, or the same purpose for everyone in His ministry.
- We all want to be a servant of Christ our Lord. Many people want to be a pastor. Many people want to be an evangelist or great leader in the church.
- But that is not God’s desire?
- This former demon possessed man wanted to be Jesus with Jesus 24/7. He wanted to pay Jesus back by surrendering the rest of His life to Christ’s work physically.
- Look at Jesus response in verse 19) Howbeit Jesus suffered (allowed) 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.
- Do you understand what Jesus response was in this verse?
- This time was a threefold response…
- No, I can’t have you go with me.
- I want you to go tell your friends what Jesus did for you.
- Tell them of the compassion of Christ. (Compassion on the man who had no hope and unworthy to receive help from anyone, except the Lord)
D) Give your testimony to the world
- I believe that there may be some of you here this morning who do not recognize God’s goodness to you as His child.
- Why do I say that? Where are your testimonials? When have you told of God’s goodness to you?
- Let us close with verse 20) And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
- What is a testimony? A testimony is a person (like you) who will tell others of “great things Jesus had done” for you!
- This is something that EVERY child of God should do!
- The problem is …you have to recognize His blessings.
- So many times we fail to give credit where credit is due.
- If you are Christian, all credit goes to the Son of God who died on the cross for your wretched miserable soul, because He loves you, had compassion on you, and snatched you from the clutches of Satan!