GOSPEL MEDITATION # 186
Jesus Heals a Demon-Possessed Man Mark 5:1-20
- Find a quiet place without distractions.
- Be comfortably alert, still, and at peace.
- Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer.
- Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself.
- Slowly and carefully read the passage of Scripture.
- Now Jesus and the disciples, having crossed the Sea of Galilee from west to east are in an area known as Gerasenes. Luke and Mark have Gerasenes, Matthew has Gadarenes. The two districts are separated by about 75 miles, Gadarene being to the south.
- It was a desolate place where outcasts like lepers and dangerous people lived, many in caves used as burial places.
- A demon possessed man, wild and powerful, confronts Jesus. He acts like one deranged, out of his mind; and there was no hope for him. He falls on his face before Jesus.
- His demons speak; they know who Jesus is and their utterance is not one of reverence or respect, but a taunt, a challenge, and a cry of fear also. The demons know Jesus has authority over them. The demons plead with Jesus to leave them be.
- Jesus begins ordering the demons out but they do not obey at once. Jesus pauses, and asks for the name of the lead demon.
- “Legion” is the answer and means there are many demons in the man. More pleading from the demon; they desire to remain. What is meant by “out of this country” is a mystery.
- Begging Jesus again, the demons wish to be cast into a herd of pigs that were nearby. For a reason we do not understand, Jesus permits this. The invading demons panic the pigs who run headlong over a cliff and are drowned in the Sea of Galilee.
- The inhabitants of the area, fearing Jesus, ask Him to leave.
- The man now freed of unclean spirits begs to follow Jesus, but He prefers the man proclaim the mercy of God to those who live nearby–an area of Greco/Roman cities known as the Decapolis, or 10 cities, in which were both Gerasene and Gadarene.