Upon Closer Examination of Mark 5:1-20

December 2, 2013

Yeshua and his talmidim arrived at the other side of the lake, in the Gerasenes’ territory. 2 As soon as he disembarked, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the burial caves to meet him. 3 He lived in the burial caves; and no one could keep him tied up, not even with a chain. 4 He had often been chained hand and foot, but he would snap the chains and break the irons off his feet, and no one was strong enough to control him. 5 Night and day he wandered among the graves and through the hills, howling and gashing himself with stones.

Seeing Yeshua from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him 7 and screamed at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Yeshua, Son of God Ha‘Elyon? I implore you in God’s name! Don’t torture me!” 8 For Yeshua had already begun saying to him, “Unclean spirit, come out of this man!”9 Yeshua asked him, “What’s your name?” “My name is Legion,” he answered, “there are so many of us”; 10 and he kept begging Yeshua not to send them out of that region.

11 Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding near the hill,12 and the unclean spirits begged him, “Send us to the pigs, so we can go into them.” 13 Yeshua gave them permission. They came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering around two thousand, rushed down the hillside into the lake and were drowned. 14 The swineherds fled and told it in the town and in the surrounding country, and the people went to see what had happened. 15 They came to Yeshua and saw the man who had had the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were frightened. 16 Those who had seen it told what had happened to the man controlled by demons and to the pigs; 17 and the people began begging Yeshua to leave their district.

18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demonized begged him to be allowed to go with him. 19 But Yeshua would not permit it. Instead, he said to him, “Go home to your people, and tell them how much Adonai in his mercy has done for you.” 20 He went off and began proclaiming in the Ten Towns how much Yeshua had done for him, and everyone was amazed.

1. A man with an unclean spirit was unafraid to approach Jesus as soon as they saw Him. Yet, the towns people, hearing and seeing what He’d done for the man, were afraid.

2. When the man with the unclean spirit saw Jesus from a distance, he ran to Him and fell upon His knees in front of Him, screaming and begging for Jesus to hear his requests. The towns people came to Him, too, but they did not recognize Jesus’ authority or their sinful state, and they saw no reason to fall upon their knees and beg Him to have mercy upon them.

3. The demon called Legion begged Jesus not to send him out of the region. Yet the towns people begged Him to leave their district, even after they saw all He’d done for the man. Sad isn’t it that the people were willing to stay in a place with a legion of demons without the protection of the One who has authority over them?

4. Now the man who’d been set free begged Jesus to go with Him, but Jesus told him no. Instead, Jesus told him to go home to his people and tell them how much the LORD God had done for him in His mercy. And he did go, proclaiming what Jesus had done for him. And everyone was amazed.

So, who do you identify with in this event? Do you identify with the demons who recognize the authority of Jesus, bow to their knees and plead for His mercy, but refuse to surrender to Him? It wasn’t a faith/trust thing with Legion, he recognized Jesus and believed in his authority. Maybe you identify with the towns people. You’ve heard of Jesus’ good works and maybe even seen a thing or two that you can only attribute to a ‘miracle’. But instead of running to Him you run from Him in fear or pride. And now you’ve been running so long that you are afraid of what He’ll do to you. Or maybe you are the man who was set free, and you want nothing more than to follow Him on His great adventure, being with Him while He goes through all the towns working His wonders. But He stops you in your tracts and tells you that you may not go with Him, but that your assignment is to go back to the town and people you’ve been around your entire life and tell them what all the LORD God Almighty has done for you.