Authority + Action = Freedom
Lord God, You have complete authority over all! I bow in worship and praise to You for Your greatness.
Read Mark 5:1-20
 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.  When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.  This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain.  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.  Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.  When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.  He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”  For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”  Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”  And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.  A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.  The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”  He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.  Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened.  When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid.  Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man-and told about the pigs as well.  Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.  As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him.  Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people 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. And all the people were amazed. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat did this demon-possessed man recognize about Jesus?
Living among the dead (2,5), he was as good as dead. Alone, wretched and in need of a Savior, the demonized man knelt meekly at Jesus’ feet (6). Able to break apart chains and irons, the demons in this man begged Jesus not to torture them (7). All Jesus had done to cause such submission was show up–there had been no overt display of force. Jesus’ authority was unchallengeable. Jesus’ authority hasn’t lessened one bit from then until now. In what situations in your life do you need to exercise the authority that he has given you as a Christian (Matt. 28:18,19)? Jesus’ command is obeyed–with the visible demonstration that pigs can’t fly or swim (11-13). What do you think made the townspeople plead with Jesus to leave (17)? Was it the loss of income caused by the herd going to a watery grave? Or was it the supernatural nature of the total authority Jesus demonstrated in transforming a man that ten cities’ full of people had been unable to overcome or help? This passage gives us a glimpse of Jesus’ authority and power, yet many Christians today act as if their faith is simply a private or even an intellectual pursuit.
How do Jesus’ actions challenge you? In what ways might Jesus’ power and authority be seen and exercised through you?
Mighty Lord Jesus, I pray that You will work in Your great power within my world and within me, also.
Click here to sign up to receive the EXTRAs via email each quarter.
© 2023 Scripture Union U.S.A. All rights reserved. Reproduction of the whole or any part of the contents without written permission is prohibited.
Discovery is published in the USA under license from Scripture Union England and Wales, Trinity House, Opal Court, Opal Drive, Fox Milne, Milton Keynes, MK15 0DF.