Text: Mark 5; 1 Peter 4:3b "When we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries."
A HORRIFIC DESCRIPTION OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE POSSESSED
The plight of the possessed is well underscored in the following text. The picture portrayed is very grim indeed. It is probably easier if we were to make a list of the things Mark highlighted about the demon-possessed man in the country of the Gadarenes.
1. His habitat
He was unable to live with others. His violent nature saw him being exiled to live “among the tombs” (Mark 5:2-3).
2. Shackles and Chains
The townspeople felt that he should be locked up. They tried to chain him as they would a wild animal. But like a strong wild beast, “the chains had been pulled apart by him, and the shackles broken in pieces” (Mark 5:3-4).
Every effort must have been made to “tame” him. But none had succeeded. The sad conclusion was that no one “could… tame him” (Mark. 5:4).
To add to the fearsome description was the fact that this man frequently hurt himself. The words Mark used are powerfully graphic.
“And always, night and day,
he was in the mountains and in the tombs,
crying out and cutting himself with stones.”
ON A MISSION OF MERCY
Did Jesus just happen to visit Gadara? If so, it would be a very strange way of planning His work itinerary. It is more accurate to suggest that Jesus was on a mission and His Father had indicated to Him that He must plan to take time out to minister to this sad demon-possessed man.
Not many boats would attempt to dock at a place that was known to be inhabited by this demon-possessed man. Matthew also recorded this incident when Jesus visited this region which was also called “the country of the Gergesenes” (Matthew 8:28). In Matthew’s account, he picked up on the fact that the wild man described by Mark, had a companion with him. Both were possessed by demons.
“When He had come to the other side,
to the country of the Gergesenes,
there met Him two demon-possessed men,
coming out of the tombs, exceedingly fierce,
so that no one could pass that way.”
The disciples of Jesus would learn invaluable lessons from this special ministry.