Mark 5:6 & 8 – But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him . . . For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
At this writing, I am 71-years old. I grew up in a Christian home, have always attended church, and cannot tell you how often I have heard the story of the demoniac of Gadara used for a text for a sermon. Something about all those hearings saddens me. In all those years, in all those sermons, I have only heard two ministers make the point set forth in the first five words of Mark 5:8. It is in our Text for Today. Take a close look at it and put it into perspective, and place it in its proper position in the story. Those first five words are, “For He (Jesus) said unto him (the demon spirit possessing the man)….” Please note that the parenthetical insertions are mine, simply for clear identification.
When you have the opportunity, ask different people who know this story, including ministers, “Why did the demoniac of Gadara run to Jesus and worship Him?” I believe you will be surprised at the answers. I also believe the answer you will hear most frequently is that it was because Jesus was the Son of God. While that is certainly true, that is not the central truth of this encounter. Jesus was still the Son of God in the Garden of Gethsemane, while being tortured by the Roman soldiers, and while being crucified. None of them rushed to worship Him. So, what was the difference? The answer is simple. At Gadara, Jesus spoke His authority, but in the scenes of His passion, He opened not His mouth to exhibit His authority.
Now look very closely at our Text for Today once again. Note closely the order of events in Mark 5:1-20. Jesus and His disciples had arrived in Gadara. The demoniac headed in their direction while they were yet “afar off.” But before he fell at Jesus’s feet and worshipped Jesus, while he was still “afar off,” Jesus said to the demon in the man, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.” There it is! Do you see it? What caused this demon possessed man to fall at the feet of Jesus and worship Him was that JESUS SPOKE A FAITH COMMAND TO THE DEMON! While the man was still “afar off,” before he had ever gotten close enough to do or say anything to Jesus, Jesus spoke. And when the Word of God goes forth, it will not return void. Nothing has changed in that regard. The Word is still the same today. When YOU speak the Word of God in faith, it is clearly heard throughout the realm of the spirit. Men may not hear, but heaven does, and so does hell and its minions. Don’t wait until the enemy in in your face. Deal with him ”afar off.”
Manna for Today – Mark 5:1-20; Mark 11:22-24; Matthew 12:34-37; Joshua 1:6-9; Isaiah 55:11; Mark 16:15-20