Translated by Allan Liang
Gerasene was a village on the east shore of the Galilee Sea, being one among the ten Decapolis cities. The account of Mark 5:1-20 reveals that the power of Jesus far exceeds the power of demons. This is closely tied to the story of salvation and rebirth of every Christian. The word “Legion” in Aramaic has the meaning of a group of soldiers. The same word in Greek, λεγεώνας , has the meaning of an army unit composed of 6000 soldiers (verse 9), indicating that the number of demons in the man very possibly exceeded the number of pigs (verse 13). In these verses of scripture, the Lord Jesus casted out numerous demons from that man, revealing that he has the authority of God, granting to that man the new life of God and complete freedom through Christ. Afterwards, Jesus clearly told him what it is meant to spread the gospel and means of spreading the gospel: “ ‘Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.’ So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him.” (verses 19-20)
In many regions of the Jews, Jesus hid his identity as the Messiah, for his time had not yet come. (Mark 1:33, 34, 3:12) But in this non-Jewish region of Decapolis, some thought of him as a sorcerer, prompting him to send the man who had just become his disciple throughout the land to speak of the miraculous work of God. This person personally felt the saving work of Christ, and though we desired to follow Jesus physically, he was willing to joyfully serve the Lord, and spoke not only to his family but to people all across the region, becoming the messenger of the gospel.
This person did not speak for himself saying, “O Lord, I have just come to know you and have not read a single page of scripture, how can I spread the gospel? Let me follow you and learn for several more years..” Given the number of years we have known the Lord, and having tasted the fullness of his grace, let us reflect upon the willingness we have to speak of the work of God in our lives and the thankfulness of our hearts. Do we often hide these things, selfishly keeping such matters away from others? How often are we satisfied with worldly things, forgetting the grace of God in the midst of our lives of comfort and peace, and forgetting the Great Commission of God? How often do we pursue the material riches of this age, the cultivation of the talents of our children and the attending of prestigious institutes, such that our success on this world matters far more to us than the calling of the gospel? May God help us and may he have mercy on us. And because of his mercy, may we show mercy to those around us. In light of the transformation of this man formerly enslaved by demons, do I understand what truly is the gospel? Have I eagerly sought to spread the gospel after believing in the Lord?
Please read carefully Mark 5:11-20 and meditate with prayer: May God help me in this time of pandemic so that I may use the quietness of this season to reflect upon my past willingness to speak of the work of God in my life. May I repent of my negligence in this area and begin to put this into practice. Let us also pray for those affected by the virus and may the gospel come to them in a timely fashion.