Focal Passages: Mark 5:1-3, 6-13a, 15-20
In the early 1970’s I was privileged
to hear the late David Wilkerson preach in Norfolk, Va.
There was a large crowd that night, and after preaching and
giving the plan of salvation, Wilkerson did something I’d never seen before or
since. He challenged the young people to not only come up to the stage to
receive Christ, but to throw their drugs away (on the stage). Dozens of young
men and women tossed their narcotics away that evening. In the years since I’ve
wondered what happened to those who were freed that night of those poisonous
addictions. Are they still free today? Are some of them working in Christian
drug rehab centers? Are some of them preachers and deacons and Sunday School
teachers? Are some now dead because they reverted back to their previous lifestyle?
Having one’s life restored of the demons that possess us is a powerful
The man whom we often call Legion was a danger to himself
and society. No human being had been strong enough to subdue him. He was a man
greatly feared. Jesus knew the man was possessed with a huge number of demons,
and he also knew the man would never be of any value to himself or society if
he were not freed from those evil spirits. Unwilling to cater to the wishes of
the demons, Jesus cast all of them into a herd of pigs. Unable to control
themselves, the pigs rushed over the bluffs into the sea and promptly drowned.
It was a day that would never be forgotten.
Jesus expected the man who had been healed to be a changed
man; not temporarily, but permanently. For the first time in years the man was
“in his right mind.” He recognized Jesus was a miracle worker, and he
desperately wanted to follow Him. But it would not be. Jesus had a different
assignment for the man.
Jesus commanded the man to share his story in the nearby
cities, for He knew the man’s testimony would make a difference. Because the
obedient and thankful man proclaimed Jesus as the healer, those hearing him