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Introduction: Context
Mark 5:1
Jesus’ Kingship
Thus far in the gospel we have seen Jesus’ kingship announced and enacted.
The very first verse of the book has powerful political and kingdom connotations.
We see Jesus anointed as king at his baptism
We see Jesus fight as a good king in his temptations in the wilderness
We hear Jesus’ first words proclaiming his kingdom
1:15, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel”
He then begins to build his kingdom by calling disciples
We see Jesus having kingly authority over the demon in the synagogue
We see Jesus having authority over sickness and disease when he heals Peter’s mother in law and the leper.
We see Jesus having the power not only to heal people, but he has the authority to forgive sins
We see that Jesus as king has authority not only over physical ailments, and not only over the demonic realm, and not only over the spiritual realm, but he is also king over the religious institutions when he says that he is the Lord of the Sabbath.
we then see Jesus tell three parables all talking about the coming of the kingdom,
He then calms the raging storm with the words of his mouth and proves that he is king even of the winds and the waves of the sea.
Last week Zach talked about the story of Jesus and his disciples on the boat crossing the Sea of Galilee.
Last week Zach talked about the story of Jesus and his disciples on the boat crossing the Sea of Galilee.
If you remember, Jesus was asleep in the bottom of the boat when a huge storm arose and the disciples were afraid of the storm.
They woke Jesus up and ask him if he even cared that they were perishing
The disciples, some of which have spent their entire lives on the sea as professional fishermen, are now thinking they are actually going to die in this storm.
What does Jesus do?
He tells the storm to shut up, to be quite, he muzzles the storm - and the disciples fear turned from being afraid of the waters to fearing God when they say, “who is this that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
By commanding the raging storm to be quiet Jesus is asserting himself as king over creation itself.
And how do the wind and the waves respond?
they bow down in obedience to their king.
Marks gospel is about Jesus becoming king.
And our passage this morning, though in many ways seems completely random, it is one more piece in the kingly mosaic Mark is constructing for us.
So turn with me to
Read the Passage.
Mark Chapter 5 picks up right where chapter four left off.
The storm has calmed, the sea is quite, and now they have arrived to the other side - to their destination.
country of the Gerasenes
Scholars believe that this contry of the Gerasenes in this chapter is refering to the city of Gadara
Gadara is a Roman city on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee
When the Roman empire was advancing through the middle east Gadara was one of the spots that was completely conquered by the Romans.
The Romans turned this city into a prosperous city with great wealth, great buildings, and a vibrant culture.
When the Romans would conquered a city they would send in a Legion of soliders.
This was a military unity comprised of about 6000 soldiers.
The city of Gadara was conquered by Roman Legions and is now ruled by the Romans.
This is not a Jewish city.
So unlike the Capernaum, there was no synagogue, there was no Pharisees or Scribes to debate Jesus.
There was no real influence of the Law or the Jewish customs such as circumcision or being ceremonially clean.
So why is Jesus traveling to Gadara?
What is the purpose?
Why is Mark telling us this historical fact about Jesus’ ministry?
Jesus’ kingship will not be contained by any man made boarders, it will not be contained by any demonic force, Jesus’ kingship will break through every bearer, and it will one day conquer the whole world.
First, lets look at the Madman who met Jesus on the shore.
First, Lets look at the Man with the demons
The Madman
He was possessed by an unclean Spirit.
We have seen many people possessed by demons thus far in Marks gospel
Yet, Mark, who has moved rapidly through many stories, slows way down here and devotes 20 verses to this particular story.
Mark also spares no detail when describing this disturbing sight.
This demon has caused great agony for the man.
He has tortured and tormented this man.
He lived among the tombs
This man lived in a cemetery, in a graveyard.
When he slept he would sleep beside the bones of dead men, woman, and children.
He had no home, he was not part of the community in Gadara.
He was a total outcast.
despised and rejected by the people
People have tried to lock the man up
There is no doubt that people were afraid of this man.
They would have been worried that he would wonder into town and do great damage to either people or property.
So they tried to bind him, they tried to tie him up with shackles and chains
Yet each time they put the chains or shackles on him he would wrench the chain apart, and smash the shackles in pieces.
He was so strong that no one could bind him, they were unable to arrest him and keep secluded from the people of the town.
So they more or less left him alone in the graveyard, but certainly kept a close eye on him.
The Man was insane and and a self-mutilator
This man would mutilate his own body with stones.
he would contently be screaming and cutting himself.
When Jesus or the towns people saw this man he would have had a body full of scars and fresh wounds from the continual self mutilation.
This man is desperate for redemption.
He is enslaved to the insidiousness of sin on many different levels.
Mark paints this picture with gritty realism informing us of many of the depraved details of this man.
What we see happening in this story is an assault on the Image of God.
This man was created in God’s image to reflect his glory.
He was knitted together in the womb in such a way that he was a reflection of God.
What has happened to this man is the demon has entered into him and has began a war against this man reflecting God’s image.
God has made people to live in community - as God himself is in perfect community within his triune self.
The Father, Son and Spirit is the model of perfect community.
Yet this man has been driven out of the life giving community of the town and is forced to live among the dead.
he is forced to live like a wild beast rather than as an imager of God.
God has created us to be free.
Paul says that its for freedom that he set us free.
there is freedom in Christ, there is freedom for image bearers who reflect the image of God.
yet, this man was not free.
He was enslaved.
Forced to live like a slave under a cruel master
People tried to put chains on him and bind him, though they were unable.
Yet those chains only represent the true bondage he was in to the evil spirit.
he was completely enslaved to the demon.
God has given us bodies so that we might reflect who he is in all of life.
As the author of Hebrews says Jesus is the Perfect image of God and Jesus came to us with a physical body.
Our bodies are to be used to bring glory to God, with our bodies we speak the words of of God, we think the thoughts of God, we act the way God acts.
Every aspect of our bodies have been given to us to bring glory to the father.
David says we are fearfully and wonderfully made
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