Passage: Mark 5:-20
Guide for Group Discussion or Personal Reflection
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Bobby Warrenburg - March 19, 2023
A Disciple's Sovereign
Scripture References: Mark 5:1-20
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Read Mark 5:1-20
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled. (ESV)
- If you grew up in church, do you recall any Bible stories you learned as a child that were tamed or simplified in a way that might have created problems for your faith later on? Name some examples, and talk about why you think they were adapted for children.
- In what other ways have you experienced Christians trying to explain away the mysteries of God?
- What does this passage tell us about Satan’s goals?
- Why do you think so many people in the West today don’t believe in the existence of actual personal powers of evil?
- What evidence is there in our world today that Satan and demons exist?
- If you’ve ever known a person who was trapped in a pattern of self-destructive behavior, who then got freedom from that by connecting with Christ, share about that.
- Read what John wrote in 1 John 3:8b, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” How did Jesus, during his time on earth, destroy the works of the devil and push back the devil’s territory?
- Read Paul’s words in Ephesians 6:12, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” Why is this truth important to remember in daily life? What difference would it make if you didn’t bear this in mind?
- While we should never take demonic activity and spiritual evil in our world lightly, why don’t we need to be afraid of it? What helps you personally not to be afraid of it?
- How might this story in Mark 5 help you with a challenge you’re facing or with some area of your life that you’ve been avoiding dealing with?
- Why didn’t Jesus let the healed man stay with him, and what implications might this have for us today?
- Throughout his years of ministry on earth, Jesus defeated demonic powers with just a word, yet he allowed them to have their way with him at his crucifixion. What do you imagine that was like for him? What is the significance of this for us?
- What did God say to you through this sermon? What was particularly helpful to you personally?