Have you ever had something broken so bad that it was beyond repair?” Like dropping a glass dish that shatters on the floor into hundreds of pieces? Have you ever been in a bad car wreck and totaled your car? Have you ever had your house catch on fire and burn down? Have you ever been in a relationship filled with so much hurt that hope seemed impossible?
This week at South Side we are going to take a look at a character known as the “Gadarene Demoniac” whose life was marked “Beyond Repair.” I believe that most of us at some point in life will go through a very dark time. It may be a mental, emotional, or physical dark time, but you can bet that you will have a time where you experience the feeling of being “down and out.” As you are aware, we are living in very dark times in our nation and in our world. I truly believe that only Jesus is our antidote for hope.
We find out in Mark 5:1-20 that one man had hit beyond rock bottom. As I have searched the scriptures I cannot find anyone who was further away from God than this man known as the “Gadarene Demoniac.” We learn from the text that as Jesus approached this demon possessed man he identifies himself as “Legion.” Now we need to understand that the setting of this story takes place in the region of the Gerasenes which is also called the Gadarenes. History teaches us that this area was primarily Roman occupied with little Jewish presence. So the people of that day would have understood that a legion in a Roman army consisted of about four to six thousand men. Imagine that! Most of us freak out when we have one problem, but imagine having four to six thousand of them. I’ve often wondered how did this man get into this situation? I believe the answer is probably one bad choice at a time until he was completely controlled by evil. We know that from being demonically possessed that this man’s life was completely destroyed. Our passage tells us that: 1. The man lived alone in the graveyard (v. 3), because society had cast him out! 2. People had tried to restrain him, but the text says that not even chains could hold him down (v. 3). 3. He was constantly crying out and inflicting harm on himself with rocks and stones (v. 5). 4. He was mentally gone and couldn’t stand wearing clothes (v. 15). From the assessment of the community His life was “beyond repair.” However, we have a Savior who specializes in saving lives that are “beyond repair.” Jesus is the one friend that walks in when the world walks out!
I love that when Jesus walks onto the scene that this man’s life completely changes. Jesus had just displayed his power over natural forces by calming a storm, and now he would show his power over supernatural forces by restoring this man’s life. I almost picture this scene like Clint Eastwood in the movie Pale Rider. I love when Eastwood comes to town. It also makes me think of the movie Roadhouse where Patrick Swayze comes into a corrupt city and overcomes evil. I wonder that day what Jesus looked like supernaturally as he came toward this man filled with thousands of demons. Darkness is always present in our world until there is light, and as you know Jesus is the light of the world. The rest of the story is that even though this man looked “beyond repair” he was renewed by meeting Jesus. The demons were expelled into pigs which immediately jumped off cliffs then drowned in water. However, the life of this man was totally restored, and as he was set free he put on clothes and came back to his right mind. Through the power of Jesus he had a breakthrough! He was instantly and noticeably changed. In fact, the townspeople couldn’t believe it. The result of his change was that he wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus told the man to be a light and testimony for him throughout that entire dark region of the Decapolis!
This Sunday at South Side we will unpack this powerful story further as well as it’s applications for our lives today. Worship begins at 10:15, and our Children’s Ministry offers children’s classes for all ages. We are continuing to practice social distancing at our services. If you are unable to attend our online services will be available at 3 on Facebook and our website. We would love to have your family worship with us! For more information visit us on our website at: www.southsidewch.com or on Facebook.
South Side Church of Christ