If there is one thing that Jesus is an expert at it is this: do NOT waste a teachable moment! We would do well to glean from this chapter just how he uses each one to open the eyes of the disciples and us the reader to his power to redeem mankind—whether from demons, a hemorrhaging, or an impending death. And in each instance he provides the backdrop for responses for those who see his power in action or those who experience it firsthand.
When Mark wrote he just added one story upon another like a person who seeks to share without taking a breath. So as we read about the fearful storm on the Sea of Galilee in chapter 4 and hear the disciples ask, ““Who then is this? Even the wind and sea obey him!” the modern day reader stops at vs 41, but in reality the answer to that question lies in the beginning of chapter 5 where we meet a man encased by the demons. Where the disciples are left wondering the demons cause the man to bow in reverence and cry out: “Jesus, Son of the Most High God!” Did the disciples thus discern the answer to their question? It is not until later when Jesus asks “who do men say I am” that Peter responds: “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.”
The question before us is the same. Who is Jesus to you? The demoniac freed from his prison knows and in humility he desired to follow Jesus much like the blind Bartimaeus would do, but this is not the time. Jesus needs the “man freed from demons” to be left behind for Jesus is not wanted in the region of Gadarenes but the message of who He is needed. He will always be known as the “man freed from demons” and will be the first missionary to carry the “LIGHT” to his pagan land. The swine herders may have not wanted to hear the good news of the kingdom for they “loved the darkness rather than the light, because their deeds were evil.” However, God had a love message that needed to be shared and who better to do it than one through whom the LIGHT pierced the darkness.
Today spiritual darkness hangs like a pall over our culture but we have the LIGHT to pierce it. Will we like this man “Go to your home and to your people and tell them what the Lord has done for you, that he had mercy on you”…that you have been redeemed from darkness to be His witness to your family and friends. How are you doing on this task?