lesson 164n audio file
Lessons 163/164-September 16, 2018 and September 23, 2018
Lesson: “Had Been-Now Is”
Scripture: Mark 5:1-20-Key passages vv 6-20
Lesson Goal: To better understand and see Jesus’ authority over demonic forces and to see His power to deliver from destruction.
Introduction: Something to think about, while the disciples were still trying to figure things out (Mark 4:41), “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”, it is obvious tht the demons of Mark chapter five had no difficulty in recognizing Jesus and who He was. “What have I (Matthew uses he plural “we”, Matthew 8:29) to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” The demons understood who Jesus was and they were also aware of their ultimate fate.
(v6) “There is no reason to suppose that the man as such recognized Jesus. But the demons residing in him did. So, in fact, it was they who fell before Jesus. They did recognize Him for who He was.” Hobbs
Please see and read 1 John 3:8b
“and worshipped Him” -It is important that we understand the correct meaning of “worshipped” in the context of verse 6. In this context it implies a recognition of authority.
(v7) Charles Swindoll offers, “While the demons here had no difficulty recognizing Jesus as ‘the Son of the Most High God.’ the demons’ fear, however was not worshipful awe of the almighty but a selfish dread of de- struction.” John Phillips writes, “Throughout the gospel narratives, we consistently see demons recognizing the Lord Jesus instantly and confessing His deity. The demons that inhabited the body of this man (v6) paid tribute to the deity of Christ. They also knew His name-Jesus-and insolently (insulting hatred) addressed Him as such.”
Matthew 8:28 states that the behavior of the men caused by the demons was “exceedingly fierce, so that no one could pass that way.” People were afraid of those men. The demons were bullying the men who then in turn bullied others. These men would block the paths and terrorize people. So perhaps as they initially “ran” (Mark 5:6) they were so belligerent to think that they could scare Jesus.
(vv8-9) There is power in the name of Jesus but there is also power and authority in the spoken words of Jesus. The demons accustom to tormenting this man (men) and terrorizing the people through this man (men) knew now who had arrived on the scene.
Question: What does it mean when Jesus arrives on the scene? Can you specifically reference some times in your life when you were acutely aware of Jesus arriving on the scene? Please prayerfully explain.
“For He said to him, ‘Com out of the man, unclean spirt’!” Phillips offers insight, “they had not the slightest claim to body and soul of this man. They had fastened upon him by the thousands (Legion-meaning approxi- mately 6000). But they were intruders and invaders. They had no legitimate claim to the house they tenanted. They knew it and Jesus knew it. The demons could scoff at the poor attempts of the local people to ‘tame’ this man but they could not scoff at Christ. The strongman aimed might be able to keep his stolen goods, but now that One who was stronger than he had come and their time was up.”
In response to Jesus’ question “what is your name the man answered in the first person singular “my name is Legion” and the demons continue in the second person plural “for we are many.”
Satan was destroying these men but when Jesus stepped ashore, when He came on the scene, these men were about to be delivered. By the power of His word and these demons would flee. They were no match for Jesus!
(vv11-13) Many questions and many answers have been offered concerning the content of these verses. In fact some in their inept focus and reasoning make this the headline story of this passage. This is not the major emphasis of this passage. The major emphasis is Jesus delivering men held captive by demon possession from the bonds of their capturers. Pigs and their destination are not the major point of these Scripture verses.
Mark, Matthew, and Luke all note that a great herd of swine was feeding nearby. We must remember a simple geographical truth. This particular region was for the most part “Gentile country”. (Hobbs) Still by any standards this is a large (v13, 2000) herd of swine. What should be noted is found in the verb “send” back in verse 12. This verb is an aorist imperative which suggest the absolute frantic state of the demons. There is absolutely no doubt concerning who is the authority and who is in control as the demons confront Jesus.
A point worthy of our thoughts concerning the destruction of the swine. To the demons their aim and purpose was ultimately destruction. They were tormenting the men trying to destroy them. The forces of evil were set on an earthly mission of destruction. Their means to that end includes temptation, influence, and in this case possession. The demons did to the swine (upon permission being granted by Jesus, v13) destruction and turned their intentions toward a herd of hogs.
Could Jesus have granted permission to the demons to teach all those present a never to be forgotten object lesson (real life lesson) on the destructive forces of demons? To such evil forces a man is not better than a swine. To the demons it is all about destruction, to Jesus it is all about deliverance!
The swine ran violently down the steep place and drown, “were choked”, in the sea. This verb is in the imper- fect tense which expresses successive repeating action. A.T. Roberson, “see it as describing geographically the disappearance of pig after pig in the sea.”
(v14) Those who were responsible for watching and feeding the swine fled to the city and into the country telling what had happened.
(v15) People from everywhere upon hearing this story went out to see for themselves what had been done. Motivated by a possible desire to see for themselves this story of the drowning hogs, they came face to face (v15) with Jesus and the one who had been demon possessed.
Notice now in reference to the man “who had been demon possessed.” It is now forever in the past tense! Compare what had been to what now is in regard to this man. (Think and meditate on your response). Please
try to answer wearing this man’s sandals. HAD BEEN VERSES NOW IS!
(v16) For those that told the people what had happened it became a two part story. One part of the story was about the one “who had been demon-possessed” and the other part “about the swine.”
(v17) How can it be that the people are now more afraid of the man “in his right mind” than they were when he was demon-possessed? (see verse 15).
Why would for some this be a lesson about swine rather than the deliverance of a man demon-possessed? Why did they want Jesus to leave this region? The aorist tense is used in regard to the word “depart” which implies that they wanted Jesus to leave immediately without delay.
There are two notable responses to the motives of verse 17. Some see this verse from the owners of the swine perspective, it was a business decision. Jesus’ presence in this region had been costly to the hog business and
swine enterprises, but I believe that we should note that the motives found in verse 17 exceeds just the owners of the swine to include the people that had gathered at the scene from the city and country. As stated before, this was primarily Gentile (pagan territory) at this time. Pagans lived with many gods and in constant fear of their many gods. Now they had encountered the work of the true God with supernatural power and authority over demons and this power and authority brought them to a place of fear and this fear lead to their request for Him to leave. Their fear lead to their rejection of Him. Their reaction to the mighty work of God was fear and rejection. Instead of welcoming Him and recognizing the great opportunities of the moment, they employed Him to move on, to leave.
Question: How can this reaction be applied personally to some that perhaps read this lesson or worship with us today?
Question: What can the difference be in requesting or imploring Him to move on verses inviting Him to stay?
(vv18-20) Jesus begins to depart, leave the region, the one who had been demon-possessed begged Him “that he might be with Him?”
In acknowledgement, gratitude, thanksgiving, and a desire to serve the man who had been demon-possessed wished to continue with Jesus. He wants to join this team of disciples. He wants to be part of this missionary team. In fact, the man begged, pleaded with Jesus to let him go with Him.
This man’s life had been forever changed by Jesus. He had been radically transformed by the power of Jesus. Although the others begged Jesus to leave, this man begged that he might remain with Jesus. He was ready, wanting, and now by Jesus’ power made able to follow Him. He was volunteering to be disciple 13, ready and reporting for duty!
(v19) “However, Jesus did not permit him.” At first glance Jesus’ response might surprise or baffle us. Here it seems is a willing volunteer with a sincere heart that wants to join the band of disciples not only with a story to tell but living proof of the power of Jesus. What a testimony! No doubt people would come form miles to see him and hear his story. He could be the draw for the conferences. He could gather a crowd. He was ready to be a part of the crusade team.
Jesus tells him “go home”! What a downer. Are you kidding me, are you serious? Jesus told him to “go home.” This man delivered by Jesus Christ from the chains of affliction, the grip of legions of demonic forces, the raging lunatic, the self destructive mad man changed forever by Jesus is told to “go home.” WHAT?
But as with any verse, we must read it and study it in its entirety. Jesus said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them what good things the Lord had done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” Instead of becoming disciple number 13 on the evangelism trail, Jesus has another assignment for him. Jesus has a different type evangelism assignment for him.
His assignment begins at home! Go back to the people that you love, those that are closest to you and tell them what the Lord has done for you. Let your circle of heavenly influence begin at home and let the circle expand from there. Your home will be your starting point for telling and sharing what God has done for you.
Be my witness, Jesus expounds beginning at home and share your story there. Let them hear and let them see what God has done in your life. Let them observe what God has done in your life. Tell them about the day you met Jesus and your life was changed forever. Tell them you were once lost and a wanderer in the dark caves and crevices but now you are found walking in the light set free by the power of the Savior.
“Tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.” The verb form “has done” is the perfect tense which shows how completely the man was set free from the demons. GO AND TELL!
(v20) Given instructions by Jesus he immediately carries them out. His testimony was a testimony of “all that Jesus had done for him.”
How important is our witness to our family and friends?
What does our witness say to those that are closest to us?
It is possible to present one type testimony to the public while living another at home?
What is your story? What has Jesus done for you?
Before you speak at the conference, behind the pulpit or at the public forum, does Jesus want you to be the real deal for Him at home?
The public may see you but at home they know you!
“Go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you and how He has had com- passion on you.”
May God bless each and everyone of you that are a part of the Life Focus ministry. Thank You for allowing me the blessing of writing these lessons. I pray that God speaks and uses these lessons to help strengthen and grow you in your walk with Jesus.