In His Right Mind (Read Mark 5:1-20)
Confession: This message has taken an unusual amount of prayer, study, time, reflection, & writing. After much thought I’ve decided to take a bird’s eye view of the passage. Here are reflections on Mk 5:1-20
This is an eye witness account from Peter to Mark. The takes place immediately after Jesus calmed the storm. You’ll remember the Apostles were in much fear after it was over. They didn’t expect this event…
Some attribute the man who lived in the tombs to mental illness. One Licensed Profession Counselor suggested this is a man who is seriously mentally ill. The diagnosis:
Borderline personality disorder/manic depression. Classical symptoms of: Isolation, rejection by society, can’t sleep, tearful often, aggressive, paranoia (assumed Jesus came to torment him) self-abusive. Also obsession w/ death & dark things b/c he lived in the tombs. Also grandiosity, b/c he called himself a legion.
I agree with this person completely! These ARE the manifestations IN the man but are a result of demonic possession. Listen! Not every person with A personality disorder, or many of them, are demon possessed. There IS mental illness WITHOUT demonic possession! Brain injury CAN cause emotional disturbances not related to demons. Chemical imbalances in the brain can also cause emotional disturbances. 2 Cor 11:14…
“Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (They hide!)
Mk 8:32 Peter took (Jesus) aside & began to rebuke Him. 33 But (Jesus)… rebuked Peter & said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
Peter was NOT possessed! He was influenced. There is a difference! The Holy Spirit & evil cannot inhabit the same person. All sin IS evil…
But Mk 5 IS an instance demonic possession & Jesus was the catalyst that revealed it. The demons saw Jesus & they feared!
Do you know where Satan came from? Originally he was the #1 angel in heaven. Only God was higher. Dual applications with Nebuchadnezzar & King of Tyre passages. Consider Isaiah 14:12-16… (See also Ezekiel 28:13-19)
How you are fallen from heaven, O Day Star, son of Dawn! How you are cut down to the ground, you who laid the nations low! 13 You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven; above the stars of God I will set my throne on high; I will sit on the mount of assembly in the far reaches of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.’ 15 But you are brought down to Sheol, to the far reaches of the pit. 16 Those who see you will stare at you & ponder over you: ‘Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms… (Also read Ezekiel 28:13-19)
Satan (Lucifer) fell from heaven in his rebellion. 1/3 of the angels rebelled with him (Rev 12:4) & thus the origination of demons.
Can demons possess people? YES! But have you considered this… upon salvation the Holy Spirit POSSES US! Col 1:27…
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you… (That’s possession!)
When it comes to demons, they are active in a way you may not be aware of. In Dan 10:10-21 (Synopsis) Daniel prayed to know God’s will. God sent answer by an angel. But a demon kept the angel from getting to Dan for 21 days. Michael fought the demon. After giving Dan the answer, the angel fought the demon to get back to heaven.
Point? Evil can delay answers to prayer. But they ultimately lose… This took place in Mk 5. Jesus commanded the demons to come out of the man several times. The demons fought back, but lost. Eph 6:12…
We do not wrestle against flesh & blood, but against rulers, authorities, the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to w/stand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
There is a very good chance that right now these forces are in our presence! Watching us similar to what we read in 2 Ki 6:17…
Then Elisha prayed & said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, & he saw, & behold, the mountain was full of horses & chariots of fire all around Elisha.
Just Old Testament… just thousands of years ago? Consider “The White Calvary” of WWI! During the Battle of Bethune (8/24/1915), the British were being attacked by Germans. Then, inexplicably, the Germans started shooting to a side without British forces. Then the German attackers turned & made a hasty retreat.
Later a German commander was interviewed about the event & said they saw men dressed in all white, on white horses advancing toward them. He said they were majestic & unhindered by guns or cannons… but kept advancing. A German is quoted as saying…
Leading this seemingly invulnerable brigade in white was a man whose hair shone like spun gold- almost like an aura or halo. His horse was massive, & bore him proudly forward. One hand held a sword, & the other held his horse’s reins. The Germans described them as advancing, “remorseless as fate, as the incoming tide…” At that moment, the troops broke in fear, & fled… defeated by this ghostly brigade of riders.[i]
Do angels still intervene today? Yes. Do we always see them? No. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t involved & present! Consider…
Heb 1:14 Are they (Angels) not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?
Mt 18:10 See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.
May I be so bold as to suggest that the spiritual forces we cannot see ARE involved in the events of man? The events of YOUR life?! Not only do they minister to (Protect, help, encourage), they speak to God Himself about us (Mt 18:10)!
I hope the Heb 1:14 passage encourages you! I hope that as a child of God you realize He is ALWAYS by your side commanding His angels to to constantly watch and care for you. I believe your guardian angel is one of those who usher believers into the presence of God upon their passing from this life. That’s Lk 16:22, “(Lazarus) died & was carried by angels to Abraham’s side.”
Now that we have all that settled, lets finish Mk 5:7-20. The demons submitted to Jesus. They pleaded not to be cast into hell, but instead a heard of swine. Jesus granted this & the heard (2k) ran off a cliff.
What about the man? Well… he was immediately delivered! Without medication he gained back his sanity. Those who owned the swine told everyone what Jesus did. People came to see Jesus & the man themselves.
And there the man was, sitting, “In his right mind.” The people were more afraid by what Jesus did than the man when possessed. At this point we read something really interesting. The people begged Jesus to leave. Why?! Why after such a powerful event would they ask Him to leave?!
Economics was more important to them than souls. They were afraid Jesus would destroy the local economy somehow. Jesus doesn’t stay where He isn’t wanted. No record he ever returned there…
Now let’s conclude with 5:18-20. The man begged to go with Jesus. Note! That’s what happens when Jesus saves. The person wants to know & follow Jesus. They will also be obedient to Jesus. Jesus didn’t allow the man to stay, but told him to go & tell all what God did for him. And here we come upon a powerful proof, & truth, about those who are saved. Here it is…
Those Jesus saves WANT others to know what they know… that Jesus is the way of salvation & He can deliver anyone from anything that entangles their life. Look at Mk 5:20!
He went away & began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, & everyone marveled.
“Decapolis” means “Ten Cities.” In that area there were 10 cities. Everyone knew of this man (Bad new travels fast). Man of those people has either heard of OR seen this man.
For him to be “In his right mind” was amazing to them. Then when he told them how GOD (Jesus) delivered him, they heard the Gospel.
People can dispute & argue theology & beliefs. They CANNOT argue a life changing event! Hear me? People can’t argue against a life or character change in a person! When God saves a person He changes them FROM THE INSIDE OUT! Every time! Thus the life of the man after encountering Jesus
Now, what about us? What do we take away from all this? I have a few thoughts…
1st, Jesus is Lord over all… including Satan & demons. He is God, He is sovereign. Period. Rest in that.
2nd, Jesus is the Prince of peace (Is 9:6-7). All who come to Him are granted His peace.
3rd, The Spirit realm is real. Respect it… but don’t fear it. Angels are on the side of God’s people AND Satan… nor his demons… can’t do anything God doesn’t also control.
Last, The base line issue is this: God is sovereign… All those in Him & He in them have no fear. The only way to God is through Christ. Trust Jesus today for salvation.