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April 11, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“When he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and worshiped Him. And he cried out with a loud voice and said, ‘What have I to do with You, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God that You do not torment me.’ For He said to him, ‘Come out of the man, unclean spirit!’”—Mark 5:6-8 (NKJV)
Yesterday we were introduced to one of the saddest figures in all the Bible—a man whose life had become completely dominated by the possessive power of the enemy. His whole being was dominated by a satanic agenda defined by deadness, lack of control, and self-destruction. But despite all of this, there was one thing in this man’s favor, Jesus had stepped into his world.
Whether it was the demonic forces tearing away inside of him or some impulse of innocence that still remained, this man ran to Jesus and fell to His feet. The fallen spirits definitely knew who Christ was and begged not to be tormented.
Two great rays of hope burst through this darkened scene. The first is that Jesus acts, and this is always the basis of hope! The Lord didn’t idly observe the man’s miserable condition. He got involved! He did what nobody else could and what everybody else had given up hope on. He called the demonic presence to vacate. Jesus acts, and that’s the real game changer!
The second ray of hope is the fact the demons implore Jesus to not torment them. This resets the board. Suddenly, for the first time in who knows how long, they weren’t in charge. There was an authority greater than theirs; a will that had command and control over theirs. What a powerful testimony to Christ’s authority as King of kings and Lord of lords . . . that even the powers no human can tame must bow to Him! What unfolds next is one of the most interesting exchanges in Scripture.
“Then He asked him, ‘What is your name?’ And he answered, saying, ‘My name is Legion; for we are many.’ Also he begged Him earnestly that He would not send them out of the country. Now a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains. So all the demons begged Him, saying, ‘Send us to the swine, that we may enter them.’ And at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine (there were about two thousand); and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea, and drowned in the sea.”—Mark 5:9-13 (NKJV)
The balance of power is unmistakable, isn’t it? Christ is in complete control of the situation and at His word the satanic forces flee into an unsuspecting host of pigs. Yesterday we saw that self-destruction is evidence of the activity of the enemy of our soul and that pattern holds true here, too!
Our takeaway from this unforgettable exchange is simply this: As utterly helpless and hopeless as this man’s condition was, Jesus was able to save him. There’s no power on the earth or anywhere else that’s greater than Christ’s power to save. In a way, our lives are a picture of demoniac. We are helpless and without hope, but when Jesus intervenes and exercises His authority, we move from darkness to light; from death to life. No matter what you or a loved one is facing, Jesus is able and willing to save!
PAUSE: What is the takeaway truth from this exchange?
PRACTICE: Memorize today’s passage (Mark 5:6–13) and meditate on it when you lose hope for yourself or a loved one.
PRAY: Great God, I trust in Your ability and Your desire to seek and save those who are lost. Fuel my faith in You as I walk in this world.