Manuel was trying to preach the gospel to a room full of prisoners, but the icy stares told him he wasn't getting anywhere. Mid-sentence he broke off. Some of the men looked at him with sullen curiosity for the first time while he stood there silently in prayer. With a deep breath, he started over. "Thirty-four years ago I was sitting in solitary confinement for violence in prison. I'd just heard my sentence from the judge and I wanted to get even with him and everyone else I felt had wronged me..." One by one, the rest started paying attention. Now that they looked, they could see the scars on his face and arms. Who was this man who had once been one of them but could smile that way? In Mark 5:1-20 we read an amazing story of Jesus delivering a man from demon possession and then sending him to tell his friends what the Lord had done for him. Study the passage to see two responses to Jesus and to be challenged to tell others what He's done for you.
Ask the Lord to open your mind and heart to receive the truth of His Word, to honestly admit what it says about you, and to respond in faith and obedience.
Read Focus Verses
Read Mark 5:1-20 and look for the two responses to Jesus as you go along.
Mark 4:35-41 tells us more about the passage over and the ships that are mentioned in verse 2 of today's passage.
What is the setting of this story according to verse 1?
How is the man that met Jesus described in verses 2-5? Verse 15 gives us some hints, too, when it tells us what was different about the man after He met Jesus.
The Demons Respond
How did the demons respond to Jesus?
What happened to the pigs?
The Townsfolk Respond
How the people from the town respond to Jesus?
What did Jesus do when the people asked Him to leave?
The Man Responds
How did the man who was now freed from the demons respond to Jesus in verse 18?
Go Tell Them
What did Jesus tell the man to do?
What God Has Done
What was the man supposed to tell people according to verse 19?
He Did It
According to verse 20, what did the man do?
What was the result of the man's testimony?
Keywords - Jesus Christ
Marking references to Jesus Christ helps Him stand out as the main character.
Mark the names of and references to Jesus Christ in Mark 5:1-20.
Take a look at the word that describes the spirits that were controlling the man that met Jesus.
Origin: from (1) (as a negative particle) and a presumed derivative of (2508) (meaning cleansed)
- not cleansed, unclean
- in a ceremonial sense: that which must be abstained from according to the levitical law
- in a moral sense: unclean in thought and life
If we look at the passage, we see that these unclean spirits liked things that were unclean under the Law of Moses. Notice where the man was spending time and what Numbers 19:11 says.
Leviticus 11:7 tells us about where the unclean spirits wanted to go.
What can we learn about something based on where it spends time and what it likes?
The demons also went against what God had established by causing the man to be unclothed. Read about when God first clothed people in Genesis 3:21.
What does it tell us about demon possession that when the man had been healed he was in his right mind (in other words, he could think properly again)?
Colossians 1:15-16 tells us why the demons recognized Jesus.
Why did the unclean spirits recognize Jesus?
Believe and Tremble
In James 2:19 we see that even they know and believe the truth that God is who He is.
All Will Confess and Bow
Philippians 2:9-11 reveals that someday everyone - even those who hate and reject Him - will confess that Jesus is Lord even though, like the demons, they will not savingly believe on Him.
It Changes Their Life
The Bible tells us many times to believe in Jesus Christ to be saved. James 2:14-26 shows us the difference between the kind of believing the demons do and the kind of believing God's people do.
How can you tell whether you believe like the demons or like one of God's children according to James 2:14-26?
Faith and Works
Ephesians 2:8-10 helps clarify the relationship between faith and works.
They Can't Save
What can works not do according to Ephesians 2:8-10?
Works Follow True Faith
What place do works have in a believer's life, then, according to James and Ephesians?
How would you describe the way the demons responded to Jesus?
Unlike the demons who immediately knew Jesus' power, the people from the area learned about His power when they came to see what had happened. Imagine what they saw when they arrived on the scene and explain what it told them about Jesus.
The People's Response
How would you describe the reaction of the people from the nearby area when they realized how much power Jesus had?
A Crazy Choice
Like the demons whose mad rush in the pigs was self-destructive, and like the people who wanted the One who had solved their biggest problem to leave, notice the choice of the crowd in Mark 15:6-15.
What kind of man did the crowd pick instead of Jesus?
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 explains this.
Ephesians 4:17-19 also describes the state of the unconverted mind.
How do these verses help us understand why non-believers - those in today's passage, those who crucified Christ, and people today make self-destructive decisions?
How can this help us understand why people reject the offer of the gospel of forgiveness through Jesus Christ?
In John 15:20-21 Jesus tells His people to expect to sometimes be rejected by the world like He was.
Who are unbelievers actually rejecting when they reject Christ's messengers?
The Man's Response
The demons and the people from the surrounding area were afraid and wanted to get away from Jesus. But the man Jesus had changed had the opposite reaction. How did he respond to Jesus?
James 4:6-10 speaks more of this response of wanting to get close to God.
How to Get Close
How do these verses instruct us to draw close to God?
How do they promise God will respond to the one who resists the devil, turns from sin, and humbly draws close to God?
So, if someone feels far from God or realizes that they've been pushing God away like the people in today's passage, how does James 4 tell them to get close to God?
With Jesus or Here
In Philippians 1:19-26 we read Paul's testimony and see that his desires are similar to those of the man in today's passage after his conversion and that Christ's commission to him was similar to the one Jesus gave to the man in today's passage.
I Want to Be
Like the man in today's story, where did Paul want to be?
Where did Paul realize he needed to be first?
How does Jesus' instruction to the man in today's story help us understand what Christians are supposed to be doing during their lives before they get to go be with the Lord?
Home and Friends
Where should this testifying start?
What are the two parts of what Jesus tells the man to tell people in verse 19 of today's passage?
Psalm 126:1-6 talks about the Lord doing great things for His people and it bringing Him glory among the people around them.
Jesus uses and explains the analogy of sowing in Mark 4:1-20.
What is sowing a picture of in Jesus' parable?
Sowing in Tears
Think about how the people who the man in today's story was supposed to tell about Christ had responded to Him. How does that help us understand a part of what "sowing in tears" in Psalm 126 might mean?
What does Psalm 126:6 promise to those who sow even when it is hard? How can that encourage Christians who are sharing the gospel and telling what God has done for them even when it's hard?
A Second Visit
Notice the changed response to Jesus when He came back to the area where the man from today's passage had been preaching in Mark 7:31-37.
A Dry Field
How can this story encourage someone who is working in an area that seems dry and hardened to the gospel?
Take a look at the word Jesus uses for the compassion He showed toward the man.
Origin: from (1656)
- to have mercy on
- to help one afflicted or seeking aid
- to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched
- to experience mercy
The people from the area had begged Jesus to leave, but verse 19-20 show us that He had compassion on them, too. How should that example impact how Christians respond to people who reject them for Christ's sake?
Admit to Show
What did this man have to admit about himself if he was going to show the great things God had done for him and the compassion He had shown him?
In 1 Timothy 1:12-17 we read Paul's testimony and see him admitting what he had been (without glorying in sin) so that he could glorify God's mercy and compassion to show how great God is.
Response Part 2
We see the second part of the man's response in verse 20 of today's passage. The man wanted to go with Jesus, but when Jesus gave him a different job to do, what did the man do?
Obeying While We Wait
Titus 2:13-14 talks about this obedience while we anxiously wait and look forward to the day we'll get to be with the Lord Jesus.
In Mark 16:15 we find that obedience looks about the same for Christians today as it did for the man in today's passage.
Go and Tell
What does Jesus want Christians today to do while they wait for the day He calls them home to heaven?
The region where this man lived was a Gentile region. Ephesians 2:11-17 shows us what that meant spiritually.
Light of the Gentiles
But, as we see in today's passage, Acts 13:47 declares that Christ came to save the Gentiles (non-Jews), too.
How did Jesus bring hope and salvation to the Gentiles according to Ephesians 2?
Read Mark 5:1-20 once more in light of what you've studied.
What do we learn about Jesus in these verses?
What two responses to Jesus do we see in these verses?
What do we learn about the Christian life in these verses?
Which is Your Response?
When you see Jesus' power do you want to get away from Him or do you want to get closer to Him and obey Him?
What Has God Done for You?
If you've been saved, what great things has God done for you? How can you express the compassion He's shown you?
Go and Tell
How will you obey Jesus' command to go and tell that story (in part and/or whole) to others? Remember, Jesus told the man to start at home with his friends.
We hope this study has helped you see two responses to Jesus and has challenged you to go and tell others what He's done for you.
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