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Jesus asked a lot of questions during His 3 year ministry. Some were very personal. Some were puzzling. Some were confronting. All of them were designed to penetrate beyond the superficial and open the person or group to whom the question was directed to new possibilities.

Mark 5 features three people, three sets of circumstances and three questions. The first question was directed to a 'madman' (or so the locals thought). The second question was spoken to a crowd but really it was for the benefit of a terminally ill woman. The third question was addressed to a crowd of mourners who had gathered for the funeral of a young girl. However, it was really for the comfort of the girl's father who was a local clergyman.

In this session we encounter a man whose circumstances were horrific and we also encounter a question that is personal and penetrating - even confrontational & disturbing.

[1] THE CONDITION OF THE MAN (Read Mark 5/1-5)

a. What Jesus had just done in the natural realm (Mark 4/35-41, stilled the storm), He now does in the spiritual realm. A storm raged within this demonized man and Jesus was about to do something about that situation! He rebuked the storm on the lake with dramatic results. The results were no less dramatic when He rebuked the storm within the demonized man.

b. The man in question is in a helpless, hopeless & very dangerous condition.

Spiritually - he was demonised to very high degree - virtually absolute - out of control. He was unable to change anything. He was in the grip of malevolent spiritual forces. Imprisoned.

Emotionally - he was suicidal - note the repeated attempts on his own life - self-destructive behaviour. He screamed constantly. He was an emotional disaster area.

Relationally - he was isolated, alienated - socially he doesn't fit anywhere. The only human contact he had was when they tried to restrain him with chains.

Physically - he self-mutilates and is at great risk. He is pre-occupied with the demons and death. The fact that he lived in the local cemetery is probably significant in that regard

c. Read vs. 3,4. Every attempt by the local villagers to restrain him had failed. Human solutions at reformation were useless. Superhuman strength (a further evidence of demonic presence) quickly shattered the chains. What he needed was inward change, not outward chains.

[2] THE CONFRONTATION BY THE MASTER (vs.6-13)

a. Recall the mission statement of Jesus - Luke 4/18,19 - to set captives/prisoners free

b. This was crunch time for this demonized man. A new power/authority was about to be released into his life. A new and greater power was present in Jesus.

c. The confrontation centres in the question, "What is your name?"

d. Remember that a person's name in those days was more than ID label - to reveal one's name was to expose oneself

*God reveals His name to Moses - Exodus 3/13-16

*Jesus' name tells us about His mission - Matthew 1/21

e. To know a person's name was to have a measure of power and authority over that person - vulnerability. Jesus is not just asking the man's name. He is asking him to declare his condition. Jesus is seeking permission to access the man's life.

f. When Legion confesses his name, he owns his condition & opens himself to deliverance.

g. NB: Demons are powerless before Jesus - they beg, cringe, plead, grovel. What incredible authority Jesus has!!

h. Jesus "gave them permission' (13) and they destroyed a herd of pigs instead of the man

[3] THE CONCLUSION OF THE MATTER (14-20)

a. What an amazing transformation - from the inside out, not the outside in. Note the three-fold description regarding Legion's condition.

*Sitting - says something about the peace he now feels

*Fully clothed - no one in the village could remember this ever being the case

*Perfectly sane - again, peace reigns - just like it did after the storm (4/39)

b. So, they all lived happily ever after? No, not everyone happy that day.

c. What is interesting is the amount of begging that went on during that encounter.

*Demons - they begged Jesus to release them into the pigs (13) - Jesus said 'yes'

*Residents- they begged Jesus to leave them alone (17) "Go away!" - Jesus said 'yes'

*Legion - he begged Jesus to let him stay with Him (18) - Jesus said 'no'

d. When Jesus comes, He comes to overthrow evil & establish a new authority/kingdom

e. Why were the demons afraid? Because their reign of terror was about to be terminated.

f.  Why were the locals afraid? Because Jesus had invaded their economy, impacted their lifestyle - radically! The pigs were obviously important and now they were gone because of what Jesus had done.

g. Nothing remains the same when Jesus sets up His Kingdom in your heart and mine.

A QUESTION FOR US.

1. What is your name? No, not John or Mike or Mary. What do you call yourself? What do others call you? Failure? Guilty? Fearful? Inadequate? Unloved? Insecure?

2. What does God call you? By what name? Overcomer? Beloved? Accepted? Son? Daughter? Forgiven?

3. Jesus stands ready to change your life and your name - come to Him right now.

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