Jesus the Liberator | Mark 5:1-20

Introduction

This question who is Jesus Christ had been asked in many ways by different people in the early ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ. In Mark 4 when Jesus calmed the storm his very own disciples expressed that question regarding the identity of Jesus, “What manner of man is this? Even the sea and the wind obey him.” It is sad that the disciples who walked so close with Jesus did not fully understand him. So,This is a real question that you need to answer –

Who really is Jesus to you?

As we begin lets look into  Mark 5, here, Jesus and the disciples had landed their boat on the other side of the Sea of Galilee there in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus and his disciples came out of that little ship, immediately there met him a man with an unclean spirit who had his dwelling among the tombs and no man could bind him. 

Mark 5:2 

When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

So the first thing we as God’s people ought to take note of in this passage is that there is an evil spirit that can take control over man. There is a spirit world out there – A battle between the Holy Spirit and the unclean spirits also called Satan or the demons. Because we do not see it with our eyes, but many people do not believe in demons.

However, the Bible teaches us about these unclean spirits that heir leader called Satan or the devil was created by God. The Bible says that Satan’s name was originally Lucifer and he had a privileged place there in serving God in heaven and he was created with all the wonderful things to worship God and also he was one who was gifted for music and he had that wonderful place of service. Satan would move up and down in the stones of fire in the Throne of God crying ‘Holy, Holy, Holy God Almighty.’ What a privilege and place to serve God – closest to God in the very throne of God.

The Sin of Pride

However, the Bible says that one day Satan’s heart was lifted up and he determined that he would be greater than God. What a terrible sin that is but it is a sin that is common because we all are tempted toward this sin. It is the sin of pride. It is the sin of thinking more highly of ourselves that we ought to think. Lucifer said, “I will be the one who will be God.” So God cast him out of that place of wonderful service in heaven.

Revelation says that Lucifer in his rebellion against God, drew with him a third of the angels of God and now these angels are called the unclean spirits who are against God’s plans. The Bible teaches us also that many of these unclean spirits, these demons, these fallen angels are in captivity today. They are kept in that place which is called the abyss, or the bottomless pit or we know it as hell. But there are some unclean spirits that God has permitted in His great wisdom somehow to roam this earth. They cannot do anything of their own, so they wait to enter into a body and do its work against God.

As Jesus and his disciples landed their little ship there in the country of the Gerasenes, they met this man with the unclean spirit. These unclean spirits had entered into this man. 

Mark 5:3-5

3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

Oh! What a terrible condition. Demon possession is a sad situation. He is in a pathetic shape, totally helpless, ignored by the society and Here is a man created by God, like you and I but suffering day and night because of demons, suffering in his body and mind.

When we study this, there are several things that we can learn with regard to the unclean spirits.

1. Isolation Is Not From Jesus

Mark 5:3 

This man lived in the tombs…… 

Notice firstly, this man who had an unclean spirit led a life of isolation. He was not a part of society. He interacted from time to time with society in violent ways, but he did not have friendship or companionship. The evil spirit caused him to be isolated from men and women. He came to Jesus out of the tombs. As he was living there in the region of death, all alone.

The devil likes to keep you in the tombs and also likes to have you hang out with those who are dead. Not necessarily physically dead, but he loves to have you hang out with those who are spiritually dead. The devil wants to isolate you and destroy you.

2. Uncontrollable Is Not From Jesus

No man could bind him or tame him.

 Mark 5:3-4 

3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.

Possessed with the unclean spirit he had great power, far beyond the power of a normal man, he was also violent. Therefore no one could do anything to him and even today we see there are a lot of people who have violence in them. They are inclined on destruction.

3. Unclean Spirit Made Him Was Cry

Mark 5:5 

Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

The devil comes to destroy and the devil also likes people to cry. Many of you are crying today, crying because the devil has bound you. The devil has put you into addition, bondage, sickness, failure. I believe today is your breakthrough because God said I’m gonna wipe away all tears from your eyes. Jesus is a God of joy.

4. Unclean Spirit Leads to Self-Abuse

He was cutting himself with stones.

 Mark 5:5 

Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. It used to bleed, it would pain.

Look at this man: No one could tame him and also no man could heal him. He was dangerous as he was out of control. His loved ones abandoned him and also the society had nothing to do with him. The devil possessed him and wanted to destroy his body and mind but Jesus loved him and wanted to set him free.

His friends went away from him, however Jesus came searching for him. The devil tried to take his blood but Jesus gave his blood. The devil was happy seeing him cut himself but Jesus’ body was bruised for his sins. Today, you feel people have rejected you, abandoned you and left you but Jesus is here, because He loves you and he wants to liberate you.

When Jesus came in his earthy ministry 2000 years ago one of the things he came to do was to liberate men. Yes, Jesus came to give eternal life, cleanse our sins but Jesus also healed many people, raised the dead, and liberated who were possessed by demons.

As soon this man saw Jesus far off he ran and worshiped him. 

Mark 5:6-7 

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”

These unclean spirits when they see Jesus through this man afar off, they know immediately who he is. They call him, “Jesus, Son of the Most High God.” Is that not interesting? There is a great controversy going on regarding who Jesus is. In the synagogue the people asked, “Who is this, someone with new authority and new teaching?” The Pharisees asked, “Who is Jesus, how can he forgive sins, only God can forgive sins?” Later the Pharisees said, “Jesus casts out unclean spirits by the power of satan himself.” The disciples in the previous chapter said, “Who is this, even the winds and the sea obey him.” Now when Jesus comes face-to-face with the unclean spirits in this man, they recognize him as the Son of the Most High God.

How do the unclean spirits know Jesus? These devils once resided in heaven and they had been cast out in their rebellion. The very demons know who Jesus is and when they saw him said, “What I have to do with thee Jesus, thou Son of the Most High God.” They are afraid. They know Jesus has authority over them, so they do not want him around, and also cannot stand near him. They know who he is. If you recognize Jesus or not the devil recognizes Jesus. They know that Jesus can liberate this man and they were afraid.

Mark 5:8 

For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!” See how Jesus cast out the demon. I do not see at all in this passage that Jesus raised his voice, that Jesus got out of control in anyway whatsoever. I think very quietly with great authority and deep compassion Jesus looked at that man who was possessed and he asked the demons what is thy name? 

Mark 5:9 

Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”

When Jesus asked the man, who spoke back? The unclean spirits spoke up because they controlled the man. The devil attacks people in two different ways – oppression and possession. This man was possessed. The unclean spirit said, “My name is Legion.” A legion is a Roman regiment of 6000 soldiers. This man had about 6000 demons inside of him.

Mark 5:10 

And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.


Luke 8:31

 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss (hell).

These unclean spirits are supposed to be in hell. They knew their destiny if Jesus did what they deserved. They would follow many of their colleagues into that place called hell.

My dear friend, Hell is a real place. The Bible says a great deal about it. Jesus spoke more about hell than he did about heaven why – because men and women born into this world are headed to that terrible destination. Hell is a real place. The Bible tells us that God prepared hell not for man but that he prepared hell for the devil and his angels, for satan and these unclean spirits. Because man sinned, because Adam sinned, all men follow that unclean spirits into that place called hell which was never made for man. Jesus cared for us and came so that we do not have to go to hell. Unless men come to Jesus, believe in his sacrifice that paid for our sins and call upon him and ask him to cleanse us from our sins we are heading to hell.

Let me ask you an important question

Have your sins been forgiven by God? I am speaking to some who have never come to Jesus Christ. Perhaps you have not heard of him before, maybe sometimes when you heard about Jesus you just kind of pushed it away and ignored it. Dear friend, the Holy Spirit calling you to Jesus today.

If you will right now in your heart, call upon the name of Jesus and tell him I know I am a sinner, I come short of the glory of God and I believe that Jesus died for my sins in my place, I believe in you. Wash away my sins with your blood. If you will believe on him, call on him and ask him, he will save you right now.

There is a place called hell and Jesus does not want men to go there. These demons knew about that place and they asked him please do not send us to the abyss, to the hell. So they ask him in 

Mark 5:11-12 

11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”

Now stop for just a moment. There were a large herd of pigs. Pigs should not have been there if this land was under Jewish control. The OT law forbids the Jews to have anything to do with swine, pigs. Here they were in the pig business. We do not know who owned these pigs. Even if these pigs were not owned by Jews, they were permitting that to take place in a land controlled by the Jews. This was in disobedience to the OT law.

Now the unclean spirits begged Jesus to not to be un-bodied. That means that the unclean spirits want some kind of instrument to use for their work on this earth and so they many times possess men and women. So rather than to be sent to hell these unclean spirits begged Jesus to permit them to go into the bodies of the swine. Jesus gave them permission. Why? Because to have pigs in that land was against the law. So they left this man and they entered into the swine. 

Mark 5:13

He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.

Now these unclean spirits had no pigs even to possess. And based on the fact that they felt threatened with hell I guess that they were banished at that moment to the abyss, to hell itself since the pigs died.

I want you to see another thing about this man who is now healed of his demon spirits. 

Mark 5:14-15 

14Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.

When the people of the town see him one of the things which is so different about him now is that he is clothed. He has his clothes on. I think that is one of the signs where our society or culture is going down, unclothing among the people. We in India are copying just what the west do. We have a culture of our own but we just want to copy the bad of the other culture and say that we are modern. My heart is so grieved about our country is that we are degrading into immodesty.

Dear brothers and sister of God, be careful with that. This does not mean that one cannot look nice, dress nice. No, we are to be different from the world; we are to be dressed properly and modestly.

Another Word of Caution

I want to give one another word of caution about these unclean spirits, the demons. Another sign of culture degradation is the increasing seeking out of medians and methods to know about one’s future and life. Today in our society we even we see people in the government, cinema, and sports persons who seek counsel from medians, seers.

You see they are seeking blessings from the unclean spirits. It can be in the form of palmistry, fortune telling, seeing horoscopes in papers or magazines, horoscope matching, wearing precious stones, doing karma etc. When you do that you are asking reference from an unclean spirit. Those are demons which speak through those modes. Oh! that is seeking the advice from Satan and his words. You are playing with fire. Do not make light of it, it is very dangerous. They devil wants to possess and use us as his instrument and destroy our body and soul.

You have Jesus the liberator, who lives within you. Jesus wants you to have live – both your body and spirit are important to him. So you need not worry as being possessed by the devil or having bad luck or any bad thing happening in your life. Jesus will always give you the victory. He will deliver you from every attack of the devil that destroys the body and the soul.

Live your life filled with the Spirit of God. This man who was now clean, he was in his right mind, dressed, his sins forgives and he wants to follow Jesus. Is that not wonderful? Jesus liberated him. How many of you have been liberated by Jesus Christ? Today if you are suffering with any bondage, witchcraft, possession, addiction; Jesus Christ is over here to liberate you.

Now, he wants to go with Jesus. 

Mark 5:18-20 

18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, “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.” 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

Conclusion

Oh! My dear friend that is God’s commission to you. You know what Jesus told him? Jesus was telling him to go witness to people. All that means is go tell others what Jesus has done for you so they will come to him also, and so Jesus sent this man back home to be a testimony, an illustration, a story of the good things that Jesus can do. You have a story to tell and Jesus is counting on you to tell others His story in you.