The Word This Week

Mark 5:1…

Jesus had just demonstrated His power over His creation by calming the violent storm He had led them in to. Those in the boat with Him were sorely afraid – because they had forgotten He alone has power over His creation.

Afraid even though the storm was ended? Yes – their fear had now been transformed into awe.

But they hadn’t seen anything yet.

Upon arriving in the Gadarenes region on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, they were immediately confronted by another terror – a man so indwelt by demonic forces nothing could restrain him. He broke free from every restraint those who lived near him placed upon him. He was a danger to any who came into his presence.

This man was not inhabited by a demon – he was possessed by a legion of them - and collectively they referred to themselves in just this way. Calling themselves ‘Legion’ would have been a familiar terminology for those confronted by this man, as a Roman legion consisted of six thousand soldiers.

And here is this legion of demons inhabiting this man running quickly to submit themselves to Jesus even as He exited the boat with his disciples.

Talk about calming a storm!

Not only does this demonic force recognize Jesus as God, (as all demonic forces do,) they also understood His authority over them, and that their reign of terror was at an end in the life of this man and the community he constantly threatened.

They beg Jesus for another habitation, recognizing the end of their dominion in this man. They recognize Jesus has come here for this reason - even if everyone else failed to understand the reason Jesus had come into this heavily Gentile-influenced region.

And yes, Jesus consents to their desire to go into the nearby herd of pigs as opposed to becoming disembodied spirits. (That would take place soon enough.) Whoever considered themselves of the Jewish faith had no business dealing with pigs – as they were unclean animals to those of the Jewish faith. There was another point being made here, as the entire herd immediately rushed down the embankment into the sea and were drowned. A major source of local income was destroyed.

But the man who had been so tormented and had been such a terror to his community was immediately at peace. His life was restored to him. Just as Jesus had calmed the storm, He had also calmed the storm that raged in this man’s life. Would everyone be excited by this amazing transformation?

Pastor Bill