As we continue our walk through Mark’s Gospel, we now come to chapter 5. It begins with Jesus encountering a demon-possessed man who lived in the tombs. Because of the length of the passage, I can’t show it all here. I suggest that you read Mark 5:1-17 before proceeding.
In this section of Scripture, we see a man tormented by the enemy. Night and day he would be crying out in agony and cutting himself with rocks. When people tried to bring him into custody, the demons would give him the strength to break any form of shackles.
The description that Mark gives is very interesting. Look at what verse 4 tells us.
For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
The word, subdue, in this verse literally means to tame, like a wild animal. Many people enjoy going to a zoo or a circus to see a wild animal show. They watch as the lion tamers guide their huge cats around the ring.
I think this is how we get into trouble sometimes. This man was under the control of the devil’s power. Yet there were people trying to tame him.
They were just like many Christians today who are trying to tame the enemy’s kingdom. They want it to work for them. They think that they can receive all of the benefits of the world, with none of the hurts. I wish that were true.
The Bible teaches that the enemy is not to be played with.
Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.
1 Peter 5:8
The goal of the enemy is to destroy your life. But he can’t do it with a frontal assault because we’re protected by the power of God at work in us.
However, if he can get us to lay down our spiritual armor, then we’re open to his attack. If it suits his purpose, the enemy can pretend to be tamed long enough for us to feel secure in playing with him. Yet, we don’t realize that we’re walking right into his trap.
The principles of the kingdom of God and seeking to be a friend of the world don’t mix. You have to choose one or the other. Straddling the fence will bring your life to ruin.
The Lord understood how to handle the work of the devil.
The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
1 John 3:8b
Our goal should be the same as that of Christ. We should live to set the captives free. All the while we must watch ourselves so that we’re not captivated by the world.
The power of God did more than just tame the demon-possessed man. He was set free and his life was totally renewed by the power of God. That’s the type of victory we should be seeking in our generation.
But it will require us to spend time in the Father’s presence just as Jesus did.
Question: What are some areas that you see the need for Christ to set people free?
© 2018 Nick Zaccardi