Notes: September 5, 2009

Demons In

Demonic possession is a popular movie theme. As such the reality is oft cast aside as mere fiction. As we will see in today’s lesson, demonism has been around for over 2000 years.

Mark 5:1-20 (see also  Luke 8:26-39 and Matthew 8:28-34)

Note: The village of Gerasa was in the area of Gedara. Mark points to many things that are not found in the accounts of Matthew and Luke.

Matthew mentions two men; both Mark and Luke only one. The events are one and the same.

  • A man with an unclean spirit (Mark), possessed with demons (Matthew), having demons (Luke), met Jesus immediately upon his arrival by boat.
  • The man lived among the tombs; and from thence he came to meet Jesus.  What possesses a man to live in a burial ground? If your mind were not evil affected before, surely such an environment would not contribute to positive mental health.
  • The man was wild and untamable. Though others had often sought to restrain him he always broke the restraints and freed himself.
  • Day and night he was in those mountain haunts.
  • One could hear him crying aloud as he cut himself with stones.
  • He fiercely guarded his turf and refused passage to all who came that way.
  • He was without clothing as well as homeless.
  • Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell down before the Savior.
  • With a loud voice, he asked “What have I to do with you, Jesus, Son of the most high God?” He recognized Jesus. He called Jesus by name. He acknowledged the deity of Christ. The demoniac had better theology than many “normal” folks.
  • Moreover, the demon was concerned about the judgment which he knew Jesus would bring. Was it to be today?
  • Under direct questioning from Jesus, the demon gave his name as Legion, holding that there were many demons in the man.
  • Seeing a herd of swine nearby, the demon asked permission to leave the man and possess the pigs.

What happened next? Conclusion tomorrow…