Posts Tagged ‘Demons’

Mark chapter five is packed with all sorts of goodies. Consider the idea that we experience and relate more to STORY than anything else. I’ve heard Mark’s Gospel referred to as the “Action Gospel” because he doesn’t include a lot of sermons or theological doctrine lectures from Jesus. It’s mostly narrative. he’s just telling us what happened. Telling us THE STORY.

But in those stories are books worth of theological truth. In chapter 5 we have Jesus raising a dead girl and healing a woman who merely touches His cloak. But the part that jumped out to me is the showdown He has at the beginning with a possessed guy.

Chapter 4 left off with Jesus and the disciples crossing the sea to what should have been a quiet area for some rest. They get out of the boats, however, and they are approached by a raving lunatic. While it’s true Satan tends to work quietly and covertly (2 Cor 11:14), from time to time we do get to see up front what darkness does to a person. This man has a “legion” of demons in him. A legion is a military unit that can consist of up to 6,000 soldiers. Talk about being tormented. The sort of effect that kind of darkness has on a man.

Stop a moment and imagine you’re one of the disciples. You just got out and are tying down the boat then there he comes. You see a naked man (Luke 8) come running towards you from the graveyard (v3), crying out or screaming (v5), likely scarred and/or bleeding from self inflicted wounds (v5), and maybe even with broken chains still hanging from his limbs (v4). He comes toward you with a rage and fury that would be terrifying (Matthew 8 says people avoided the area because he was so violent).

Hollywood has so dramatized possession and exorcisms that the idea has become so fantastic we find it hard to actually conceive of it. Peaceful, kind angelic beings are popular, but the idea of an evil equivalent is considered ridiculous. But believe it. Evil is real. Spirits are real. And evil spirits are real. And here we see the extreme consequence of so much darkness corrupting one man.

But what do we see happen?

The guy sees Jesus and falls on his face before Him. Yeah, this raving maniac that people avoid and who has supernatural strength enough to break chains is immediately brought to his knees is the presence of The Son of God (v6). He knows who Jesus is. Ie even says it: “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” (v7)

We often think or hear the idea that there is a war or a battle going on between God and Satan. Yeah, that’d be like Chuck Norris “battling” with a toddler. There is no battle. The authority and power is not in question. During the last 4 chapters we’ve seen Jesus silencing demons. He says, “Don’t speak,” and they don’t speak … CAN’T speak. Here we have a LEGION of demons cowering in fear and begging for mercy. And all Jesus had to do was get out of a boat. God is sovereign. Demons HAVE to obey. And obey they do.

As we see, Jesus casts them out into a herd of swine and they run into the sea.

Now, I doubt any of us are dealing with a legion of demons. In fact, if you’ve received forgiveness from Christ, the Holy Spirit is in you, and the “no vacancy” sign is out. Some people even believe demon possession was just something during Jesus’ time and things don’t operate that way anymore. However, even without possession, the spiritual reality is that we are influenced by, tempted by, and manipulated by evil all the time. Whether directly by an evil spirit or just by our own sinful desires, we face darkness and corruption.

And Jesus, “Son of the Most High God,” has complete and total authority over everything, even evil. Before Him it MUST fall back. Before The Light of the World (John 1:4) evil shudders with fear (James 2:19). Daily we fight battles that HE has already won for us. We cower in fear or give in to manipulation to things we already have power over through Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”