13 August 2017 AM – Mark 5:1-20 – Mr17 – Scott Childs
Introduction: Each year in my home state of Michigan, USA at the county fair (similar to the Royal Show), they have an event called a tractor pull. In this event, the power of a tractor pulls against the power of gravity. Each tractor pulls a heavy sled. After each pull, more weight is added to the sled. The tractor that can pull the heaviest load the farthest wins.
Our text this morning we see another kind of power that is supernatural. We see the power of demons, of Jesus and of conversion.
Transition: As we examine these three supernatural powers, we will discover answers to three important questions that I want us to focus on this morning.
The first important question is…
1. Are Demons Real and Dangerous? (v.1-12)
a. Jesus confronted real and dangerous demons.
1) The man Jesus met had “an unclean spirit” or demons (v.2). Demons are angels that rebelled against God and lost their holy state. They are far more powerful than humans but not as powerful as God their creator. They work to deceive and keep humans from obeying God.
2) The demons in him were very powerful (v.3-4)
a) He could not be bound – not even with chains.
b) He broke all chains and foot shackles (v.4)
c) He could not be tamed (i.e., restrained).
3) The demons changed his character (v.5)
a) He lived in the mountains and tombs.
b) He cried out loudly in a different voice.
c) They made him cut himself with stones.
d) They tormented him night and day.
4) The demons used the name to Legion, meaning an army of 3000-6000 soldiers (v.9)
b. The powerful demons feared Jesus.
1) The demons in the man worshipped Jesus (v.6).
2) The demons knew exactly who Jesus was (v.7). They knew he was the Son of the most high God. (James 2:19) “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.”
c. Demons are our enemies.
1) Satan and his demons actively work in people’s lives to turn them away from the truth of God’s word.
2) Demons also try to get Christians to sin. Thus God warns us, (1 Peter 5:8) “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”
O Demons today are just as real and dangerous as they were in the First Century. They still possess some people. They empower witches and warlocks. They are involved in tempting us. People give them entrance by seeking their power. Many computer games contain witchcraft and are very dangerous. Witches in children’s cartoons make children think they are harmless or fake. Ouija boards, tarot cards, the occult and the like are dangerous. Stay away from them.
The second important question is…
2. Is Jesus More Powerful than Demons?
a. The demons were fearful of Jesus
1) Jesus took control of the situation. Jesus remained calm while others would have feared. Jesus had the power to do what no man could do. He communicated fearlessly with the demons. No foe is too strong for Jesus.
2) They knew Jesus had the power to torment them (v.7).
3) They pled for mercy not for salvation (v.7).
4) They begged Jesus not to send them out of the country (v.10).
5) They asked Jesus to send them into the pigs (v.11-12).
b. Jesus commanded the demons to leave.
1) Jesus commanded the demons to come out (v.8)
2) When Jesus commanded the demons to come out of the man, they did not refuse. Instead, they asked His permission not to leave the country but to go into the pigs.
3) Jesus simply “gave them leave” or permitted them and they instantly left the man and entered into the pigs.
4) Numerous times Jesus confronted unclean spirits or demons during His ministry. Each time He cast out the demon by His divine power.
O Who is Jesus? Jesus is not the brother of Satan as the Mormons teach. Jesus is not a god or Michael the archangel as the Jehovah’s Witnesses claim. Jesus is almighty God, the second person of the Trinity, God the Son. He is more powerful than any of the demons because He created them before they fell into sin. (Colossians 1:16) “For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”
The third important question is…
3. Can God Transform a Demon-Possessed Person?
a. Yes! We see an immediate change in the man!
1) Once freed from the demons, the man submitted to Christ (v.15).
a) He sat quietly before Jesus.
b) He was clothed instead of naked.
c) He was in his right mind listening to Jesus.
d) He chose to be with Jesus (v.15, 18)
2) We are not told what took place in the heart of this man, but his actions speak louder than words. His actions tell us that he placed his faith in Christ and was converted. Conversion means to turn to Christ for salvation. This is exactly what Jesus taught in (John 5:24) “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” (John 20:31) “But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
3) This new faith changed his life and his desires. He wanted to be with Jesus.
b. Jesus commanded him to go tell others (v.19)
1) The first command that Jesus gave to this new believer was to tell others. He did not argue – just obeyed. He published in Decapolis (Gentile area) what Jesus had done.
2) The local people were more concerned about their dead pigs than they were about the man’s deliverance from the demons (v.16).
3) They asked Jesus to leave (v.17). Little did they know they were turning away their only hope of eternal salvation. (John 14:6) “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
4) That day, the man who had lived a dreadful life, perhaps for years under the power of the demons, was set free from that power. I believe he immediately placed his faith in Christ for eternal life. He had been in the bondage of sin. Now he was free. (Hebrews 2:14-15) “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he [Jesus] also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
O God transformed that demon-possessed man and he can do the same yet today. God will save anyone who will humbly repent and receive His salvation. He will transform the lives of all who truly trust Him for salvation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Once He saves a person, He sends them out to tell others. How long has it been since you told someone about Christ?
Conclusion: This text answered our three questions. Yes, demons are real and very dangerous. You must guard yourself and your family. Cartoons and games containing occult activity, books like Harry Potter, fortune telling, and even astrology are all demonic and dangerous. Yes, Jesus is more powerful than demons. Jesus is God. Yes, God can transform even a person who has been demon-possessed. Anyone who will humbly repent and place their faith in Christ can be forgiven and saved from hell. If you have not yet trusted Christ to save you, He wants to save you if you will ask Him to.
Song: Victory in Jesus – 496