Tuesday, November 21, 2006



In Mark 5 Jesus encounters a frightening man who had a wild reputation around the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. I’m sure this man was the subject of many campfires, especially with the kids. Let’s check out what happened in this encounter:

They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. For 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. Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He 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!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."

Well, Jesus cast the many demons out of this man and into a herd of about 2000 pigs. The pigs ran off a sharp cliff into the sea and died. (I normally point out that this is the first mention of “deviled ham” in the Bible, but I won’t.) The demonized man was completely freed from all of his oppression and evil shackles that made him seem out of his mind. Note what happens next.

When 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. Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well.

This man who had been harassed and controlled by the demonic world had experienced a total transformation—inside out! He was scary before—out of control, shackled, rags for clothes, roamed in and out of tombs, kept hurting himself, yelled with pain and anxiety and was basically homeless.

Then Jesus apprehended him through this encounter. The transformation speaks for itself when he is described as “sitting there, dressed and in his right mind.” He was so grateful for this “Jesus make-over” that he wanted to follow along beside him the rest of his life. Note what happens.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. Jesus 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." So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.

NOTE what Jesus tells him. He said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, how he has had mercy on you.” So the man went to his people, telling his story of transformation through Jesus throughout all of the region of Decapolis. Now, the text says, “And all the people were amazed.

I think the application for us is that one of the best ways to show your gratefulness is to go home to your people—family and friends—and share your story of transformation with them. You don’t have to preach, just go home and share what’s happening in your life through your encounters with Jesus.

Now, there may be one problem here. If you aren’t experiencing Jesus, then you may not have anything to share. So, first go to Jesus and ask Him to touch your life in a fresh way.