Recognizing Jesus

Key Verse: “Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.”
—Mark 5:19

Selected Scripture:
Mark 5:1-20

JESUS AND HIS DISCIPLES had crossed the Sea of Galilee and were now in the land of the Gadarenes, east of the sea. Immediately, he encountered a man who was possessed of an unclean spirit. The spirit had such control over him and produced such violent behavior that the man was forced to live “among the tombs.” (Mark 5:3) In fact, men had tried to bind him with chains and fetters, but the power of the unclean spirit always broke them to pieces. Living among the tombs, he spent all his time “crying, and cutting himself with stones.” (vs. 5) Such a life must have certainly been hardly worth living.

When the possessed man saw Jesus, “he ran and worshipped him.” (vs. 6) Perhaps having heard that Jesus had previously healed others possessed of devils, the man was noticeably excited about the prospect that he too might be healed. The evil spirit that possessed him, though, was not pleased to be in the presence of Jesus, and said loudly, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.” Jesus then asked the spirit what his name was, to which the reply was given, “My name is Legion: for we are many.”—vss. 7-9

The evil spirit continued to converse with Jesus, and knowing his power, asked him that he not send them, the ‘Legion’ of evil spirits, out of the country. No doubt they were happy to be in that area, where it seemed fruitful to engage in their many evil activities. It was then that they noticed a herd of swine feeding not far away, so they asked Jesus if he would send them into the swine (vss. 11,12). Jesus obliged, sending the evil spirits out of the man and into the swine. The swine reacted so violently to this, though, that they ran down a steep hill toward the sea, and “were choked in the sea.”—vs. 13

Those who were the keepers of the herd of swine, and others who observed what had happened, were fearful because of what they had witnessed, and asked Jesus to depart. They seemed more interested in what had happened to the evil spirits and the herd of swine than the fact that this poor man, who previously had a useless life, was now “sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind.” (vs. 15) Jesus, though, stayed close by him, most surely conversing with him and telling him of the glorious Gospel message. What a joyous conversation this must have been!

As Jesus prepared to depart and enter the ship, the man who was possessed asked if he could go with him, (vs. 18) giving evidence of his love and thanksgiving for what had been done. Jesus replied, as the words of the Key Verse state, that his gratitude would be best shown by going home to his relatives and friends, and telling all who might listen of the great things the Lord had done for him. May we likewise show our love and appreciation for what Jesus has done for us by proclaiming the glorious Gospel message throughout the earth as a witness to the groaning creation that the blessed healing day of Christ’s kingdom is near at hand.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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