What Jesus Did! 'On Strange Turf' — Mark 5:1-2

Friday, March 18, 2016

Jesus and his followers went across the lake to the area where the Gerasene people lived. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man came to him from the caves where dead people are buried. This man had an evil spirit {from the devil} living inside of him.
— Mark 5:1-2
Illustration of Mark 5:1-2 —  This man had an evil spirit {from the devil} living inside of him.

Key Thought

Jesus is taking his disciples to new places. This particular new place was strange. The "strangeness" had to do with what they would experience at this place. This includes an encounter with a demon-possessed man. Adding to this strangeness is the place they encounter him—near a cemetery where he lived among the tombs. If we watch the story carefully, the disciples appear to remain in the boat during this whole encounter between Jesus and this man. They weren't quite ready to take on this strange new world. Jesus is trying to teach them that he will go with them and empower them to do quite unbelievable things. The power of this experience will be one of those indelible memories they will carry with them as they face horrible challenges of their own—challenges orchestrated by the dark lord of demons. As the Lord leads us, he reminds us that we are a pilgrim people—always on the move toward God and away from the familiar and safe. Yet as he leads us into new places, new experiences, and new challenges, he also asks us to remember how he has been with us in the past and to be assured that he has already conquered the dark lord we so often fear.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, my Abba Father, give me the courage and strength to follow you wherever you lead me. I know that you have been at work to prepare me, but help me, dear Lord, to move past preparation into a time of fruitfulness. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus and his followers went across the lake to the area where the Gerasene people lived. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man came to him from the caves where dead people are buried. This man had an evil spirit {from the devil} living inside of him. This man lived in the burial caves. No person could tie him. Even chains could not keep this man tied. Many times people had used chains to tie the man's hands and feet. But the man broke the chains on his hands and feet. No person was strong enough to control him. Day and night the man walked around the burial caves and on the hills. The man would scream and cut himself with rocks. While Jesus was far away, the man saw him. The man ran to Jesus and bowed down before him. Jesus said to the man, "You evil spirit, come out of that man." So the man shouted with a loud voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you to promise to God that you will not punish me!" Then Jesus asked the man, "What is your name?" The man answered, "My name is Legion, because there are many spirits inside me." The spirits inside the man begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of that area. A large herd of pigs was eating on a hill near there. The evil spirits begged Jesus, "Send us to the pigs. Let us go into them." So Jesus allowed them to do this. The evil spirits left the man and went into the pigs. Then the herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. All the pigs were drowned. There were about 2,000 pigs in that herd. The men that had the work of caring for the pigs ran away. The men ran to the town and to the farms. They told all the people what happened. The people went out to see what happened. The people came to Jesus. They saw the man that had the many evil spirits. The man was sitting and was wearing clothes. He was in his right mind again. The people were afraid. Some people were there and saw what Jesus did. These people told the other people what happened to the man that had the demonsliving in him. And they also told about the pigs. Then the people began to beg Jesus to leave their area. Jesus was preparing to leave in the boat. The man that was freed from the demons begged to go with Jesus. But Jesus did not allow the man to go. Jesus said, "Go home to your family and friends. Tell them about all the things the Lord did for you. Tell them that the Lord was good to you." So the man left and told the people in the Ten Towns about the great things Jesus did for him. All the people were amazed.

Mark 5:1-20

Related Scripture Readings

Keep your lives free from the love of money. And be satisfied with the things you have. God has said, "I will never leave you; I will never run away from you." So we can feel sure and say, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. People can do nothing to me."

Hebrews 13:5-6

Can anything separate us from Christ's love? No! Can trouble separate us from Christ's love? No! Can problems or persecution separate us from Christ's love? No! If we have no food or clothes, will that separate us from Christ's love? No! Will danger or even death separate us from Christ's love? No! Like it is written in the Scriptures : "For you (Christ) we are in danger of death all the time. People think we are worth no more than sheep to be killed." But in all these things we have full victory through God who showed his love for us. Yes, I am sure that nothing can separate us from God's love—not death, not life, not angels or ruling spirits. I am sure that nothing now, nothing in the future, no powers, nothing above us or nothing below us—nothing in the whole created world—will ever be able to separate us from God's love that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:35-39

I don't mean that I am already exactly like God wants me to be. I have not yet reached that goal. But I continue trying to reach that goal and to make it mine. Christ wants me to do that. That is the reason Christ made me his. Brothers and sisters, I know that I have not yet reached that goal. But there is one thing I always do: I forget the things that are past. I try as hard as I can to reach the goal that is before me. I keep trying to reach the goal and get the prize. That prize is mine because God called me through Christ to the life above. All of us who have grown spiritually to be mature (perfect) should think this way too. And if there is any of these things you don't agree with, God will make it clear to you.

Philippians 3:12-15

Comments

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.