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BACK FROM THE DEAD
Intro: Mark chapter 5 has been called the Bible home for incurables. There are three cases given in this chapter which are absolutely, humanly speaking, incurable. There was first of all the demonic man, second of all the diseased woman, and number three there is the dead girl. Now all three of these would be considered impossible cases in the Lord's day and in our day as well.
For instance, the man would be assigned to a mental institution, the woman would be assigned to a terminal care unit, and the girl, of course, would be carried somewhere and placed for burial in a cemetery. But when you move through this fifth chapter of Mark you discover that Jesus is more than adequate for every situation, there are no incurables with Jesus Christ.
So in every situation here we see that Jesus was more than adequate: to the man who was demonized Jesus became the Great Psychiatrist; to the woman with the disease Jesus was the Great Physician; and to the girl who was dead Jesus was the Great Pediatrician.
Now today I want us to focus our attention on the man who is commonly referred to in our terminology as Legion, this man who was possessed with demons. For all intents and purposes, this man was considered dead by those who knew him. He was an outcast from family and from society. He was a living dead man! That is, until Jesus showed up and then everything changed!
Now you need to keep in mind the context of this particular scripture. Back in the fourth chapter Jesus has just calmed a storm on the tempestuous sea, now the Lord is going to calm a storm in a tormented heart. It's a miracle when Jesus calms the storm on the sea, it is a far greater miracle when Jesus calms the storm in the heart and in the life of an individual. So I want to look into this passage of scripture and watch Jesus Christ work in the life of this pitiful man. I want to watch as Jesus brings him Back From The Dead!
I. V. 1-6 THE MAN’S SLAVERY
A. V. 2 His Master - Right off the bat we learn that this man is under the control of Satan. We are told that he has an unclean spirit! Then, we find out that he is not just the home to one foul spirit, but he is home to a Legion of demons, v. 9. A legion in the Roman army could be from 2,000 to 6,000 men. In verse 13, we learn that when those demons left this man, they entered a heard of swine that number 2,000! This man was totally under the control of the devil! (Ill. So is every lost soul in this room and in the world, Eph. 2:1-3; John 8:44. What a pitiful shape to be in!
B. V. 3-5 His Misery - Here is a man who lived in the tombs, his demons caused him to be a wild man. Some people had tried to capture him and tame him, but their bonds were no match for his demonically charged strength. His demons also caused him to be self-destructive. (Ill. Maybe there had been a family in his past that he could no longer associate with! What a pitiful picture this paints!) (Note: This man is no different from any of the billions of lost people who inhabit this planet today! They live for themselves without realizing that they life choices are destructive and damning, Pro. 16:25. They cannot be helped by human intervention. They cannot be changed by well wishes and good intentions. They have a spiritual need and the need a spiritual solution! If lost men weren’t so blind to their condition, 2 Cor. 4:4, they would see how miserable they should be!)
C. V. 2, 6 His Mentality - This man who ran from everyone else, ran to Jesus! Even in that tormented mind there still lived the knowledge of right and wrong! (Note: Lost folks also know! Just because a man is lost and living foolishly, that does not mean that he is a stupid man! I remember when I was lost, I envied those who knew the Lord! I also knew that if I ever met Him, He would set me free from the bondage I was living in, and He did!) (Ill. Do you know why this man ran to Jesus and why some lost people seem to want a better way? I think the answer lies in how the Lord is dealing with them! As He dealt with my heart as a lost man, through Holy Ghost conviction, John 16:7-11; John 6:44, I began to want Him more than anything else in my life! That’s what He does!)
II. V. 6-13 THE MAN’S SAVIOR
A. V. 1 The Savior’s Purpose - In Mark 4:35, Jesus tells His men to get into the boat, for they are going over to the other side of the lake. On the way, while He slept, the disciples were hit by a terrible storm. They thought they were going to die, but Jesus arose and calmed the storm and they passed over! I think Jesus went knowing that t he people of that land would cast Him out, 5:17. Jesus went knowing that all He would do was reach this one poor, tormented man, but He went anyway! What love! What compassion! (Note: Just as Jesus crossed that lake to reach this one lost soul, Jesus also came to this world to go to the cross to die for the lost souls of humanity, Phil. 2:5-11; John 18:37; Luke 19:10.)(Ill. Neither venture was a fruitless task! He accomplished what He planned in both events!)
B. V. 6-12 The Savior’s Perception - When everyone else looked at this man, they saw a hopeless case, Jesus sam a man, v. 8. He saw a human in need of heavenly intervention! Jesus didn’t see this man as he was, Jesus saw him as he could be through divine intervention! (Note: That’s what Jesus sees when He looks at lost people! We see a drunk, He sees a deacon! We see a drug addict, He sees a preacher! We see a harlot, He sees a choir member! That is why lives are changed when they come to Jesus! He will take what you give Him and He will give you something much more precious in return! you give Jesus your crab apple, He'll give you back a golden delicious. You give Jesus your thorn, He'll give you back an American rose. You give Jesus your acorn, He'll give you back a mighty oak. Give Jesus your Jacob, the schemer, He'll give you back an Israel, a prince with God. Give Jesus Simon, the cursing fisherman, He'll give you back a Simon Peter, mighty preacher. You give Jesus your Saul, persecutor of the church, He'll give you back Paul, militant missionary apostle. You give yourself to Jesus, you'll be amazed at what He'll do with you. It's amazing what Jesus can do with a human, 2 Cor. 5:17 - “New creation”!)
C. V. 13 The Savior’s Power - This man was under the control of a power that he could not break himself, but Jesus has more power than the devil! At His command, those demons left that poor man and entered a herd of 2,000 swine and all those hogs ran down the side of a cliff and committed “suey-side” in the sea! One minute that man was a save of Satan and under the bondage of devils. The next minute he is free! Such is the power of the Lord Jesus to change lives! (Note: None need never fear that what Jesus has done for others, He cannot do for them. He is the great Emancipator! He specializes in changed lives and He has the power to change every life that comes to Him, Matt. 28:18! If He can take a persecutor like Paul, a rough, course fisherman like Peter, and people like those who are saved in this room, then Jesus Christ has the power to save anyone! Never fear that what He has done for others He can’t do for you, because He can!) (Ill. The brazen Serpent - Num. 21. The cure that was seen in the lives of others was the greatest evidence that it would work for anyone!)
III. V. 14-20 THE MAN’S SALVATION
A. V. 15 Salvation Changed Him - No longer is he running around, crying out and cutting himself. Now, he is calm and seated beside Jesus! What a change! (Ill. That’s how it is! You cannot meet Jesus and remain the same. He changes all those who come to Him, John 3:3,5; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10! Has He changed you?)
B. V. 15 Salvation Clothed Him - No longer is he naked, but now he is clothed! (Ill. This is just further proof of his change! What we need to notice here is that what Jesus does in the heart of a man is ALWAYS worked out on the outside of a man, Matt. 12:35!)
C. V. 15 Salvation Calmed Him - We are told that he is in his right mind! Where there has been turmoil and agitation, there is now perfect peace! He has been changed spiritually, physically and mentally! (Ill. What a picture of the total change that salvation brings to the converted sinner! Jesus literally gives everyone He saves a brand new life!) (Ill. Jesus changed him from the inside out! Jesus started with the man’s real problem! Ill. A bad heart is every lost man’s real problem! His sin isn’t h is problem, it is merely the fruit of the problem!)
D. V. 18-20 Salvation Compelled Him - Not only is this man given a new life, he is also given a new set of desires!
1. V. 18 He Was Compelled To Desire Jesus - Prior to meeting Jesus, this man did not want to be around anyone. Now that he is saved, all he wants to do is be around Jesus! (Ill. This is what salvation will do to you! It will ruin you! Once you are saved, you will want to be around Jesus and His business. You will want to go to His house. You will love to be around His people. Wherever He is is where you want to be! By the way, something is wrong when you don’t have a desire to be where He is!)
2. V. 19-20 He Was Compelled To Declare Jesus - He is told to go home and tell those who know him what Jesus has done in his life! He went to Decapolis, literally “The Ten Cities” and started telling people what had happened and it got their attention! (Ill. What a homecoming that must have been!) (Note: There is no greater testimony in the world than a person who has been saved by grace telling those who are still lost what Jesus can do for them! If you have Jesus in your heart, you won’t be satisfied until others have Him in their heart! You will want to tell others about Him! When you are sharing Jesus, that is another good sign that you have met Him!)
Conc: Has there ever been a day when Jesus passed by where you were, trapped in the bondage of your sins, and set you free? Have you experienced His life-changing, sin-killing, bondage-breaking power in your life? If you haven’t, you can! If you will come to Jesus right now, I will guarantee you that He is here to save. He may have come this was just for you today! Will you come to Him? If you are saved and all is not well in your walk with Him, then I invite you to come and get the old flame rekindled once again!