“And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 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.”
The deliverance of Legion is one of the greatest miracles found in the Bible. Here was a man—once normal and contributing to society; perhaps a prosperous businessman, married, with children—now reduced to a man with an unclean spirit.
Since a Roman legion had twelve thousand soldiers, many scholars believe that this poor, pitiful soul by the same name—naked, filthy, living in caves, howling at the moon, bringing fear and mayhem to all who came in contact with him—had 12,000 demons. Matthew 8:28 adds this: “exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.”
The term unclean spirit seems to be a title applied to any and all spirits, irrespective of their activity. However, some were given such designations as “dumb and deaf spirit” (Mark 9:25), “a spirit of infirmity” (Luke 13:11), and a “spirit of divination” (Acts 16:16).
To say the least, demon possession is the most horrible thing a person can endure, and, without a doubt, it always includes some form of insanity. As a side note, unsaved people suffer from some form of insanity—they don’t think right, act right, or do right. And, as horrible as it is, the example of the maniac of Gadara, sad to say, symbolizes the heart of unsaved humanity.
Mark 5:3 says, “Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains.” The further away one is from God, who is life eternal, the closer one is to eternal hell. I John 5:12 says, “He that hath the Son hath life,” but death is the ultimate conclusion of sin. Paul said, “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). “Death,” as Paul used it, represents eternal separation from God, who alone is the only source of all life. So this poor man was separated from family, friends, and, even worse, the Lord Himself.
Mark 5:4 says, “neither could any man tame him.” Man, through education, self-will, psychology, religion, or a million other things cannot tame sin, only the blood of Jesus can.
I’ve only touched the surface of the first seventeen verses, and I encourage you to study these verses for yourself.
Now let me deal with my text. Mark 5:18 says this man once bound, now free, “prayed him that he might be with him.” And why not? Jesus was the man who set him free; Jesus was the man who changed him from death to life.
Mark 5:19 says, “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.” This statement tells us three things:
ONE Go tell! He was to testify to any and all about what had happened to him.
TWO Tell everyone. He was to tell everyone that it was Jesus, and Jesus alone, who had set him free. Every believer has a story to tell of what Christ has done for him. Your story can change the life of a poor soul bound for hell.
THREE Tell of His compassion. The word compassion means, “to have mercy; to show mercy; to show pity to another who is in serious need; an act of kindness that will help meet the need of the individual; to love deeply.”
This is why Jesus came to this sin-benighted world and died on Calvary’s cross—to show compassion on you and me. So “go tell,” and you can do that every single month by your continued support of SBN. The Lord has called us to “go tell” the entire world of the goodness of Jesus Christ.
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