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Mark 5:1-20

Before Reading the Passage

This is one of the most dynamic accounts in the Bible. It is the account of Jesus and a wild man – a demon-possessed man. We call him the Gadarene Demoniac.

• The account of this man is found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Each of the Gospel writers gives us a little added information about the man. For example, Matthew says that there were two men that were demon possessed. That really is no problem, for Jesus focused on the more prominent of the two. Then Luke adds that the man had been possessed for a long time.

• This account demonstrates several things:

1. It shows what Satan will do with a life and what Jesus can do with a life.

2. It illustrates the horribleness of life without Christ and the happiness of life in Christ. It is a

classic example of the presence and power of sin in a life.

3. This account magnifies God's amazing grace.

Read the Passage

Mark 4 ends with Jesus and His disciples in a ship on the sea. Suddenly a great storm comes and the wind rocks the boat to the point that the disciples think they are going to perish. Jesus is asleep in the stern and the disciples wake Him and He stands and says, “Peace, be still” and the wind ceases.

• Of course, Jesus knew the demon possessed man would be on the shore when they arrived and the storm was Satan's way of stopping Jesus from getting to the other side and casting the demons out of the man, but Satan's plan failed.

• This demon possessed man is commonly referred to as Legion. A Roman legion is 6,000 foot- soldiers as well as 120 horsemen and technical personnel. A host of demons had possessed that man and he had been that way a long time.

Four things I want you to see in this passage:

I. A Miserable Soul 5:1-5

These verses tell us how sin degrades a person. Few Scripture passages point to what sin will do to a person more graphically than does this one. This man was Bound by sin, Possessed by sin, Ruined by sin. He had reached one of the lowest stages of sin. Get the picture:

• Jesus and His disciples had just docked their boat. Suddenly a man, who looked more like a monster, rushed down toward them. Actually they heard him before they saw him. He was


screaming. He had a mournful howl, high-pitched, shrieking cry.

• His hair was long and matted. His body was naked and bleeding from self-inflicted wounds made by sharp stones with which he had cut himself. On his ankles and wrists were fragments of the chains folks had tried to bind him with, but he broke.

• He had a vicious, wild look in his eyes. He was mad; out of his mind. Guilt can drive a person insane.

• He lived in the tombs. The Scriptures declare that he was always roaming, night and day, in and out of the tombs. These tombs were caverns on the sides of rock containing cells where dead bodies were placed and closed up. These were not closed and he made his home there.

• When he saw Jesus and His disciples, he began to run toward them, cutting himself and crying loudly. Like dogs who protect their territory, he was not going to allow anyone to intrude his space.

I think when the disciples saw him, they headed back to the boat. They had rather face another storm on the sea than to face this wild man!

But Jesus had no fear. He stood His ground.

This man was demon possessed. What does that mean? It means demons – fallen angels – invaded human personality – not to bless, but to curse.

The demons that possessed this man were not imaginary; they were real – so real they went into swine and ran the swine into the sea.

Can people be demon possessed today? Yes! Can Christians be demon possessed? No!

Christians can be demon oppressed if they give themselves over to sin, but they cannot be possessed by demons, for they are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.

• There are two extremes about Satan and demons: One is that they do not exist at all. The other extreme is that demons are everywhere and cause everything – from headaches to car wrecks.

• God designed that our bodies were to be the temples of the Holy Spirit. Demons cannot possess or oppress us unless we give ourselves over to them. How? Look at this wild man:

1. He was not in his right mind. Guilt can drive a person insane.

2. He was given over to sin. When a person opens themselves up to Satan, Satan can gain a

foothold in their life. Let me give you some of the ways: Drugs: mind controlling drugs...

Pornography: sexual images are addictive and stay in the mind...Obscenity: vulgarity, vile,

shameless foul mouth, smut, off-color language...Rock music: it is characterized by one

thing – loudness and vulgar language.

3. Self-mutilation: He cut himself. Why would Satan try to get you to disfigure your body,

whether it is with tattoos or body piercing, the lips, tongues, other weird parts? Because our

bodies were designed to be the temples of God where God is to be honored and Satan would

dishonor that.

4. No self-control. He was his own enemy. He was at war with himself. He could not control

his own life; others around him couldn't control him, society could not.

Let me point out two things about demonic activity: There are two periods of times in the Bible when demons were most active – at Jesus' first coming into the world; at His second coming.


Don't think all demon possessed people look like human wrecks. Not all of them are homeless, druggies, living in tombs. Some are in mansions, dressed in purple and fine linen, reclining on fine expensive couches, driving the best cars, yet, they are miserable wrecks, consciences almost smothered, souls crying out in agony.

II. A Mighty Savior 5:6-14

• Note verses 6-7 The implied answer: Nothing. After all, Legion was a slave of Satan. He was telling Jesus, “Mind Your own business.”

• Wait a minute. Hadn't Legion been trying to cut the demons out of his body, crying for help? Didn't he have a glimmer of hope when he ran up to Jesus? Then why did he tell Jesus to leave him alone?

• Because he was under Satan's control. Maybe a spouse or child says, “Don't bother me with Jesus. I don't want to hear another word about Him.” Take that as a sign of spiritual warfare. You're not up against human will power, but Satanic influence. But don't let that discourage you. The demons of Legion may resist Christ, but Jesus can change him.

• “I implore not torment me.” How did Jesus handle the situation? 5:8-14

• With a voice of unmistakable authority, Jesus said, “Come out of the man.” At once a change came over the man. Tense muscles in his arms relaxed, sharp, bloody stones dropped to the ground, the wild look fades from his face and a look of humanity and reason takes its place. With a sigh of relief and deliverance as the demons depart from him, he sinks down at Jesus' feet.

• One of the disciples wipes the blood from his face with a cloth; another takes a mantle and casts it over his naked body. There he is at Jesus' feet – clothed, calm and in his right mind.

• What a beautiful picture and example of the power of Jesus to restore and redeem the human soul!

Jesus demonstrated His power when He turned water to wine, healed the sick, cleansed the lepers, raised the dead; but when He reaches down, lifts up and saves a soul, gives that saved soul a new heart and fits him for the Kingdom of God – nothing compares to that. He didn't just Reform the man; He Transformed him.

Notice 5:10-14 – Why did Jesus allow the demons to enter the 2,000 swine?

1. These pigs became the vehicles of judgment to the unexpecting demons. They were confined to the abyss to wait the final judgment.

2. The swine were a powerful visual testimony to the delivered man that he had been delivered.

3. It displayed the mighty power of Christ over demons. He cleansed thousands of demons with a few words.

- The man is sitting there instead of roaming among the tombs as before.

- He is dressed instead of naked.

- He is in his right mind – content – clothed – conquered!

III. A Miraculous Salvation 5:14-17


1. Resting – Matthew 11:28

2. Reverent – sitting at the feet of Jesus

3. Robed – with the robe of righteousness

4. Rational – in his right mind

5. Ruled – Christ ruled the unruly!

2 Corinthians 5:17

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought since Jesus came into my heart.

I have light in my soul for which long I have sought, since Jesus came into my heart.

He breaks the pow'r of canceled sin, He sets the pris'ner free.

His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me.

The same Christ who cleansed this man can cleanse all them who come to Him!

You would think the town's people would rejoice – celebrate – praise Jesus! But do you know what they did? They voted Jesus out of town! 5:17

• They weren't interested in lost souls being saved or safety for their families and homes. None of that “Jesus stuff” – give us hogs, profits, gains, earthly possessions.

• Many vote Jesus out because He interferes with their questionable practices, pleasures, profits.

• Many have voted Jesus out because they are making their living off the destruction of their fellow man.

1. Beer and tobacco industry

2. Abortionist – keep it legal so we can profit

3. Homosexuals – protect us so we can defile others

If Jesus had a real chance in millions of lives, more diseases could be healed; more homes would be havens of joy; more wrongs would be made right; more souls would be saved.

IV. A Magnificent Service 5:17-20

Three requests were made in this passage. Jesus granted two of the three and denied the third.

1. The demons' request: send us into the swine.

2. The owners of the swine: Jesus, leave. Sadly, Jesus honored their request. He will not force Himself on folks. He does not go or stay where He is not wanted. Revelation 3:20

3. The healed man's request was denied.

- He wanted to go with Jesus to show his love and gratitude to Christ for what He had done.

- He may have been afraid that if his new-found Master departed without him, Legion would

return and claim him again.

- He saw the anger in the swine owners. They would hold him responsible for the destruction

of their pigs.


Jesus granted the request of the demons and the swine owners, but denied the cleansed man's desire and request. Why?

• Because he could be more useful to Christ telling what “great things” (and great things had been done unto him) had been done unto him.

• This man put Duty above Desire.

• What a passionate witness he must have been! He went to help the sin-sick, the hopeless, helpless souls.

• He just bragged on Jesus – let me tell you of One who saved me, cleansed me, forgave me, restored me, chose to use me.

• He made no excuses. He just did what Jesus asked him to do.

Go – tell folks that Jesus had compassion on you – cared for you – cleansed you. Can you do that?

What will you ask of Jesus? To depart from you...or to come into your heart.