Mark 5:1-13 (MSG)
1-5 They arrived on the other side of the sea in the country of the Gerasenes. As Jesus got out of the boat, a madman from the cemetery came up to him. He lived there among the tombs and graves. No one could restrain him—he couldn’t be chained, couldn’t be tied down. He had been tied up many times with chains and ropes, but he broke the chains, snapped the ropes. No one was strong enough to tame him. Night and day he roamed through the graves and the hills, screaming out and slashing himself with sharp stones.
6-8 When he saw Jesus a long way off, he ran and bowed in worship before him—then howled in protest, “What business do you have, Jesus, Son of the High God, messing with me? I swear to God, don’t give me a hard time!” (Jesus had just commanded the tormenting evil spirit, “Out! Get out of the man!”)
9-10 Jesus asked him, “Tell me your name.”
He replied, “My name is Mob. I’m a rioting mob.” Then he desperately begged Jesus not to banish them from the country.
11-13 A large herd of pigs was grazing and rooting on a nearby hill. The demons begged him, “Send us to the pigs so we can live in them.” Jesus gave the order. But it was even worse for the pigs than for the man. Crazed, they stampeded over a cliff into the sea and drowned.
Scripture teaches demons have the ability to inhabit human bodies in order to deceive and destroy people. As believers, we are to submit ourselves to God then resist evil of any kind; the enemy has to leave when we refuse to be his host. Remaining in God’s Word is our best defense against evil, because from the Word we understand what pleases God and how he created us to live. The goal of the demonic realm is always destruction of humanity, because we are made in the image of God.
In our passage today, Jesus is approached by a demon-possessed man. The man bows, but the demon—who recognizes Jesus and his superior authority—tries to negotiate with the Creator. As requested, Jesus gives the demons permission to enter the swine and immediately we see the magnitude of what this poor man had endured. The lesson is clear. Christ came to set humans free from the evil plans of Satan. “So if the Son sets you free from sin, you are truly free” (John 8:36).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for setting me free from sin and spiritual death. I submit myself to you and resist evil. In Jesus’ name. Amen.