Devotional

“The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.” – Mark 5:14–17. 

This would make a pretty gripping opening to a movie. It is the middle of the night. Jesus and the disciples have just been through a terrible storm. The disciples are still trying to come to terms with Jesus calming the storm in Mark 4. In chapter 5, they land the boat near a cemetery and a naked demon-possessed man (covered in blood and wearing broken chains) runs out to meet Jesus.

The demon-possessed man was in need of desperate help. Looking for shelter, he lived among the tombs. All day and all night he howled, cutting himself with stones. People often bound him with chains and shackles to protect him and those around him, but he broke out of the chains and shackles, leaving everyone around him at a loss for ways to overcome him. This man desperately needed a miracle. And then Jesus stepped out of the boat.

When the man ran to meet Jesus, the demons inside him addressed the Lord directly. “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” (Mark 5:7) They begged Jesus to not torture them and asked Him to send them into pigs feeding nearby. Jesus gave permission and the demons entered a herd of pigs, around two thousand. The pigs raced down the hill, crashed into the sea and drowned.

Try to imagine this scene. What would be going through your head if you witnessed this? Even though many at the scene did not fully understand Jesus, the demons knew He was the Son of God, the Savior of the world. The demons trembled in fear because they knew Jesus was greater, more powerful than the evil one, and they were forced to submit to him: “You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” (James 2:19).  

Due to talk within the city and country, many came to see all that had happened. They found the man with unclean spirits now clean and in his right mind. A man who had once been insane, now sane; once irrational, now rational; once out of control, now in control and sitting peacefully.

Once the movie-like scene had settled down, people were afraid after witnessing two thousand pigs run into the sea and seeing the man’s dramatic transformation. Their fear led them to beg Jesus to exit the region. But there was one man who wanted to go with Jesus: the one who had been freed of demons. He longed to go with Jesus, to be with Him, close to Him: “The man who had been freed from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus sent him home, saying, “No, go back to your family, and tell them everything God has done for you.” So he went all through the town proclaiming the great things Jesus had done for him.” (Luke 8:38-39)

You are the only one who can tell your story. No one can adequately describe the wonderful things that have changed in your life since you have surrendered yourself to Christ. It is your story; no one else can tell it. If Christ has done great things for you, you have the privilege of sharing that good news with others.  

Discussion Questions

  1. When has the Lord delivered you from a serious sickness or difficulty in your life? How did you react? Did you keep it secret or did you tell others?