Mar 03, 2019 | Ryan Rice

Victory Belongs to Jesus

A Reality

When Jesus was telling of his ministry, he says this, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” -- Luke 4:18-19 (CSB)

Jesus is still in the business of setting free both the captive and oppressed.

  • Is it any wonder the Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek.” - Romans 1:16 (CSB)

The Gospel of Mark

John Mark writes with one purpose in mind.

  • He wanted to make it clear that Jesus indeed was the long awaited Messiah.
  • The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. - Mark 1:1 (CSB)

The core message of Mark

  • The kingdom of God has come. Through Jesus, God is confronting evil in the world by restoring God’s Kingdom. He is inviting us to live under His reign.
  • This gives us a clear picture of why this upcoming encounter is so impactful.

An Unexpected Encounter

Jesus was a master teacher and wasted no opportunity to instruct and teach his disciples.

  • The moment they stepped off the boat, the Scripture tells us a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs to meet Him.
  • They came to the other side of the sea, to the region of the Gerasenes. As soon as he got out of the boat, a man with an unclean spirit came out of the tombs and met him. - Mark 5:1-2 (CSB)

Jesus stepped into an area that was most likely on the eastern shore of a predominantly Gentile area.

  • There was no time in the ministry of Jesus, where he was afraid of those who were steeped in sin or who were culturally outcast.
  • When Jesus heard this, he told them, “It is not those who are well who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I didn’t come to call the righteous, but sinners.” - Mark 2:17 (CSB)

What do we know about this man?

  • He was most likely a Gentile.
  • He was outcast from others.
  • He had become a burden.
  • He was uncontrollable, yet controlled by demons.
  • He was in this state for a long time.
  • There were two men, but this man was the worse.

He Was beyond Human Help

Demon possession is not mere sickness or insanity but a desperate satanic attempt to distort and destroy God’s image in man. - John D. Grassmick

  • This man lived among the tombs, among the dead, which the ancients believed to be the dwelling place for demons.
  • Scripture tells us: He lived in the tombs, and no one was able to restrain him anymore not even with a chain because he often had been bound with shackles and chains, but had torn the chains apart and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains, he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. - Mark 5:3-5 (CSB)

How do we view the broken around us? What about those in our midst daily?

  • Your wealthy neighbor bound by their love of money. The mom striving for perfection who is driving herself into the ground in an attempt to measure up.
  • There are those around us who are in desperate need of the Gospel. We may not see the chains, but do we notice their brokenness?
  • Question: How often do we give up on people because they seem too far gone; too deep in sin?

Tormented By Many

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before him. And he cried out with a loud voice, “What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? - Mark 5:6-7 (CSB)

  • Notice he uses the phrase, the Most High God. This was very common for Gentiles to use when referring to the God of Israel.
  • The Scripture tells us: Even the demons believe — and they shudder. - James 2:19 (CSB)
  • Their faith and fear can’t save them. They recognize who Jesus is, what He has come to do, and the end that is in store for them.
    • I beg you before God, don’t torment me! ” For he had told him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit! ” - Mark 5:7-8 (CSB)

The evil one can grab hold to the lives of people who are steeped in a sinful lifestyle.

  • The devil is a horrible task master, paying out a negative return of wages. The Bible tells us that the very wage of sin is death.
  • “What is your name?” he asked him. "My name is Legion,” he answered him, “because we are many." - Mark 5:9 (CSB)
  • A legion was a Roman regiment of soldiers of roughly 6,000. What do we make of this? It is the reality of the strength of the oppression this man was under.
  • Read this through the lens of a person who is first hearing about Jesus. — Is He truly the Messiah that has been promised? Is this encounter even too much for Him?
  • The Christ who can calm every storm, can overcome every demonic force as well.
    • He disarmed the rulers and authorities and disgraced them publicly; he triumphed over them in him. - Colossians 2:15 (CSB)
    • The one who is before all things, is truly over all things. He has all power!

A Powerful Deliverance

A large herd of pigs was there, feeding on the hillside. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs, so that we may enter them.” So he gave them permission, and the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs. - Mark 5:11-13 (CSB)

  • “To Satan, a pig is as good as a man! In fact, Satan will make a man into a pig!” - Warren Wiersbe
  • The Bible tells us that a herd of about 2,000 pigs rushed over the cliff and drowned into the sea.
  • This man, who had been bound for years, was set free in a moment and placed in his right mind.

Response of the Community

  • Ran off to report
    • Found him dressed and sane
    • Afraid
    • Begged Jesus to leave.
  • The economics of the situation gave them more alarm than this man being set free from the oppression he had faced. They lost their pigs; they lost their economic engine.
  • For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is the power of God to us who are being saved. - 1 Corinthians 1:18 (CSB)

A Transformed Life

The Gospel transforms, informs and conforms us into the image of Christ.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come - 2 Corinthians 5:17 (CSB)

The man transformed by Jesus desired to remain with Him.

  • As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged him earnestly that he might remain with him. Jesus did not let him but told him,“Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” - Mark 5:18-19 (CSB)
  • Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus telling those who experienced his power to remain silent. This is one of the few instances where He tells someone to go and tell all The Lord has done.
  • Illustration: Jackie Hill Perry

So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed. - Mark 5:20 (CSB)

  • The best thing we can do after coming to faith in Christ is tell others what Jesus has done for us.
  • This man was possibly one of the first Gentile converts to tell of the Messiah!
  • He heads out to the Decapolis or ten cities; a group of Gentile cities in Palestine.
  • He heads out with one purpose: to declare Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He is the Messiah and HIs Kingdom has come.

Our Response

Who around you needs to experience the love of Christ?

  • Pray, Seek God and Share

If God has delivered you, share your story.

  • "Report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.” - Mark 5:19 (CSB)

Remember, the Gospel still has power!

  • Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. - Hebrews 13:8 (CSB)
  • The kingdom of God has come. Through Jesus, God is confronting evil in the world by restoring God’s Kingdom. He is inviting us to live under His reign.

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