Grow Through The Gospels - Mark 5

Pastor Ed Young - Lead Pastor of Fellowship Church
Ed Young

July 3, 2024

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Grow Through The Gospels - Mark 5

Read: Mark 5

Mark 5:2, 8 “When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. For Jesus had said to him, ‘Come out of this man, you impure spirit!’”

Matthew 8: 31-34 “The demons begged Jesus, ‘If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’ He said to them, ‘Go!’ So, they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.”

Think

Jesus came and set the demon-possessed man free, and yet, the people asked Christ to leave! This incredible story, found in Mark, Matthew, and Luke, has so many fascinating details. First, the demons recognized Jesus immediately and knew his power. They understood that he could cast them out and decide their fate, even asking, “Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29). This shows that even the devil knows he is ultimately defeated.

The presence of a herd of pigs tells us this event probably happened in Gentile territory, as Jews considered pigs unclean. The substantial number of pigs (around two thousand, according to Mark 5:13) underscores how severe the demonic bondage was, yet even this was no match for Jesus. The demons begged to be sent into the pigs, revealing their hatred of wandering without a host. They were desperate but didn't foresee the pigs rushing into the sea and drowning.

What’s even more intriguing is how the townspeople reacted. Instead of celebrating the miracle of the men's deliverance and freedom, they focused on the loss of their pigs and begged Jesus to leave (Luke 8:37). This makes us think about our priorities. Jesus demands a choice: do we value him and his salvation, or do we prioritize our material wealth and comfort? The townspeople chose their prosperity over Jesus, missing out on the greater gift of life and hope he offered.

This story highlights several profound truths. Jesus is the Son of God, triumphant over evil, and he liberates the captives, bringing hope and healing. But he also demands a choice from us: will we love him and his salvation, or will we cling to our prosperity and wealth? The townspeople failed this test, but Matthew, Mark, and Luke share this story in hopes that we won’t. Jesus challenges us to examine our hearts and choose him above all else.

Apply

Identify areas in your life where material possessions or activities are taking too much priority. Serving others shifts the focus from us to eternity. Sign up to serve this summer.

Pray

Jesus, I recognize there are areas where I have placed things before you. Help me to refocus my heart and mind on you. Give me the courage to share the gospel, even when it feels challenging. Remind me that you are the greatest gift I can offer someone else. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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