What Jesus Did! 'Satan's Goal' — Mark 5:3-5

Saturday, March 19, 2016

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.
— Mark 5:3-5
Illustration of Mark 5:3-5 —  The man would scream and cut himself with rocks.

Key Thought

So often the power and influence of the Devil is minimized. To believe in a real being behind evil is ridiculed in many circles. Yet Scripture assumes a belief in a real "evil one" that stands behind real evil. What we are able to witness in Mark 5 with this man possessed by demons is the goal of the work of the Devil in human lives. He longs to isolate, degrade, and torture those whom he controls. His power is unrelentingly strong, yet he uses his strength to hold people in fear because of death. Ultimately, when the evil one gains a foothold in our lives, he leads us to self-destructive behavior. Don't minimize the Devil's power or presence. Instead, center your life on Jesus, the one who conquered the evil one's power and broke his death-grip on us.

Today's Prayer

Father, forgive me if I have ever minimized evil and the Devil's power exerted through it. Thank you for sending Jesus to destroy the Devil's hold on my life. Give me strength to resist his attacks and give me strength to overcome his influence in my life. In Jesus' name. 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

To end my letter I tell you, be strong in the Lord and in his great power. Wear the full armor (protection) of God. Wear God's armor so that you can fight against the devil's evil tricks. Our fight is not against people on earth. We are fighting against the rulers and authorities and the powers of this world's darkness. We are fighting against the spiritual powers of evil in the heavenly places.

Ephesians 6:10-12

Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15

Control yourselves and be careful! The devil is your enemy. And he goes around like a roaring lion looking for some person to eat.

1 Peter 5:8

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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.