Year 2 Day 114
Read Mark 5:6-13
Message Alan Burke
The disciples barely had time to gather themselves from what happened out on the sea of Galilee and now there is a man cowering before Jesus. He came running up, falling before Jesus, shouting “What do you want from me, Jesus Son of the most High God?”. This demon possessed man knew better than the disciples who Jesus was and recognised the absolute power of Jesus over him. All of this because Jesus had called the evil spirit out of this man (8) and then he forces the demon to unmask himself asking what was his name (9). His name was Legion. A Roman legion was six thousand, but this isn’t to be though of as the number of the demons within this man, rather to make the point that there were many, many demons within him, that he is truly tormented.
The people were powerless against the demonic work within him, they had tried to bind him without success, but before the incarnate word the Legion no matter how strong is powerless before the Son of God Jesus Christ. The whole of Satan’s kingdom is subject to the authority of Christ. Jesus then permits the demons request to enter the pigs, and as they do the pigs or rather the demons hurl themselves down the steep bank, like an avalanche of pigs into the water, on top of each other, this is a dramatic demonstration of the power of Jesus over evil and Satan himself (14,16), it is also a dramatic demonstration of how Satan and the forces of evil only ever seek to destroy. They had sought the destruction of this man, whereas Jesus in his compassion for this man cast them out giving him his life back and the pigs were destroyed. The destructive power of the sea that almost sank the disciples’ boat now swallows up the pigs.
This man before Jesus was worth more than two thousand pigs, do not miss that, you and all those who bear the image of God are more valuable to our creator than any other part of creation. Notice though that this was not Jesus who destroyed the pigs, it was the evil spirits who went into them (13). The evil spirits led these animals to destruction. You’re either thinking what a waste, that was a lot of bacon sandwiches or with disgust at what happened. But to the Jews in Jesus day, they would have celebrated, it was a token of God’s power and his vindication over the powers of evil.
There is something more that we should be aware of, the destruction of the pigs reveal to us the purpose of the work of Satan in this world, for Jesus referring to Satan said, he comes to steal, kill and destroy. Whereas Jesus came that they might have life and that they might have it in abundance (Jn 10:10). Satan desires to steal, kill and destroy, he uses things that are not inherently wrong to destroy the lives of those he controls. Even though Satan rules this world, that he is capable of destroying lives, he is no match for the Lord of lords and the King of kings. And, by his death and resurrection, Jesus he triumphed over the forces of evil for all time. Paul would later say that "having disarmed the powers and authorities, [Jesus] made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross” (Col 2:15). And the day will come that Satans power will finally be ended by the Word of God Jesus himself where he will crush Satan under his feet (Rom 16:20). This is scriptures final word on Satan’s power, and one day God will make all things new where there will be no more pain or sadness, crying mourning, sickness for all the former things will be no more.
Q7 What are the decrees of God?
The decrees of God are his eternal purpose, according to the counsel of his will, whereby, for his own glory, he hath foreordained whatsoever comes to pass. (Eph. 1:4,11, Rom. 9:22–23)