This broadcaster has 1340 podcast archives available on-demand.
Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.
August 23, 2020 12:01 am
How did people respond to Jesus' liberation of a demon-possessed man? Not with celebration, but with terror. Today, R.C. Sproul explains why as he continues his exposition of the gospel of Mark.
Get R.C. Sproul's Expositional Commentary on the Gospel of Mark for Your Gift of Any Amount: https://gift.renewingyourmind.org/1301/mark-expositional-commentary
Don't forget to make RenewingYourMind.org your home for daily in-depth Bible study and Christian resources.
Jesus encountered a demon possessed man in the caves outside the city when Jesus healed him.
The whole city came out to have a look. They recognize this person who lived in the tombs cut himself with stones seated clove in his right mind so they decided to have a party let's invite Jesus no not on your life.
How does Mark describe the reaction they were afraid to be afraid of someone who could do such a miracle. Everyone in the city knew about this demon possessed man think they would be amazed and happy for will learn today being in the presence of holiness makes people very uncomfortable. So instead of inviting them in the people asked Jesus to leave welcome you to the Lord's. The addition of Renewing Your Mind, there's our teacher, Dr. RC this morning were going to continue with our study of Mark's gospel in the fifth chapter last week we only made it part way through the text and I said, God willing, that we would finish that text this morning and it seems, at least at this juncture, but God indeed is willing, so were going to read once more this morning from the fifth chapter of Mark and today I'll read beginning at verse nine and read through verse 20 – the conjugation stand for the reading of the word of God for he said to him, come out of the man of unclean spirit than the asked them what is your name unanswered saying my name is Legion for we are many, but also he begged him earnestly that he would not send them out of the country in a large herd of swine was feeding there near the mountains so all the demons begged him, saying, send us into the swine, that we may enter them in at once Jesus gave them permission. Then the unclean spirits went out and entered the swine. There were about 2000, and the herd ran violently down the steep place into the sea and drowned in the sea, so those who fed the swine fled.
They told in the city and in the country.
They went out to see what it was that it happened. Then they came to Jesus and saw the one who had been demon possessed and had the Legion sitting close and in his right mind, and they were afraid, and those who saw it told them how it happened to him.
I would been demon possessed about the swine.
So then they began to plead with him to depart from their region. When he got into the boat you had been demon possessed begged him that he might be with him. However, Jesus did not permit him but said to him, go home to your friends and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how he has had compassion on you and he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him and all marveled. He was ears to hear the word of God, let them hear. Please be seated. Let us pray again I Lord we ask for your help we might understand the depths of riches the content of this passage that our eyes may be opened to the majesty, the authority and to the deity of our Savior, we ask it in his neck. Amen. Last week I mentioned that I am convinced that the purpose of Mark in relating this incident from the life of Jesus and placing it immediately after the stilling of the Tempest on the Sea of Galilee was not to teach us some psychological message about peace that descends upon our spirits when we come close to Jesus although that of course does happen, rather, that the focus here in this passage is on the Revelation of the person of Christ.
The church's confession historically is that he is vera Homo vera Davis truly man, and truly God having two natures in one person, but in ordinary circumstances. Throughout his earthly ministry. The deity of Jesus is veiled by his humanity. But there are moments when his glory bursts through and his divine person is made manifest, and I believe that's what were saying here in both episodes of the stilling of the storm in the sea and also now of is authority over the demonic world now. One commentator that I read on this passage pointed out much to my delight that. What is the common theme between Christ's stilling the storm on the Sea of Galilee and his re-redemption of this demon possessed person is found in Christ. Power over the threat of chaos because both the wildness of the waves in the wind and the Tempest threatened destruction and the wildness of these demons from L threatened to destroy the man whose body they are inhabiting represent those forces of chaos that are destructive and yet the over whelming testimony of the New Testament is that Christ in his divine nature was not only present at creation, but that he was the acting agent of creation in the beginning was the word the word was with God and the word was God all things came into being through him, and nothing was made that was made up part from him in the Scriptures tell us that all things are by him for him and in him, so that the New Testament portrait of Christ is a portrait of the cosmic Christ, the one who, along with the father and the spirit was involved in the original creation of the universe. I can't help but think back to the public television series that was so popular in this country.
Posted by Carl Sagan, the late astrophysicist from Cornell University and the title of that television program and the best-selling book that came from his pen was simply because monks remember that on the very first page of Sagan's book entitled cosmos. He makes the statement that science seeks to understand the external world and he said the assumption of science is that the world were trying to no ski end day science is cosmos not chaos, what Sagan was getting at is, if the external universe were really ultimately chaos.
It would be impossible to know anything about it because ultimately chaos is irrational, and therefore on intelligible and so the metaphysical assumption of all scientific inquiry is that what we're inquiring about is inherently knowable and intelligible, and for it to be intelligible and open to scientific exploration that must ultimately be ordered must be cosmos, not chaos.
This is why I'm somewhat surprised also amused by the contemporary issue over intelligent design as being a notion that has nothing to do with science. Yet without pleading a religious interpretation. Previous scientists have understood that the assumption of design is a prerequisite for science and to have unintelligent design is an artsy moron. It's like postulating accidental order if it's accidental it's not orderly, it's chaos.
And so here we see Christ manifesting his authority over the threat of chaos. It drives us back to the original description of creation doesn't wear than the Genesis account, we see that the description there before God works was that the world was without form, and was empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep in Hebrew categories. Beloved. What Genesis describes with the table room in the wall who were in the boat is the front of chaos. The threat of emptiness, formlessness and darkness and it's over against that picture of the threat of chaos.
The Genesis tells us God spoke, and he said, let there be light, and the eternal mission one with supreme intelligence triumphs over any idea of chaos at the very beginning of the work of creation. That's the one with whom we have to do here when Jesus confronts the forces of hell that are committed to the chaotic Jesus sees this man and his misery knows of these possessed by demons since what is your name Mansour is leg deal. We are legion, for we are money borrowing the term that was used there in the deck Decapolis for the Roman military units that were stationed there, a legion of soldiers was 5600 but that doesn't mean that the devils within this man are saying we are 5600 demons, but in the popular parlance of the day. The term Legion metaphorically came to mean a host and innumerable host so the demons say we don't have one name our name is Legion because there's an abundance a multitude of us, noted last week when we read this that the demons begged Jesus.
They begged him earnestly that he would not send them out of the country. I speculated last week looking at Matthew's gospel about the phrase don't torment us before the time, we've already looked at that but now here we see the actual negotiations that are going on.
The demons are begging Jesus earnestly. That's the first time we hear about the begging that they would not send them out of the country. Now we mention those large herd of swine was feeding near the mountains so all the demons begged him again saying Sanderson the swine, that we may enter them. Verse 13 and at once Jesus gave them permission we mentioned last week, why Jesus didn't send them to hell because it was not the time and the place in redemptive history for that to do so.
The demon said don't make us leave the country there, see those things Jesus put us in the face will come out of the man, but give us a host for our parasitic pleasure. Let us go in the swine to said very well have at it now, was this unkind the animals week in Palestine.
Keep in mind that Jesus has the authority to do this in his divine nature. Obviously, because as the Lord God omnipotent Endo with the swine yaks of his creation. Whatever he pleases.
According to his own sovereignty. But there's another element here, but we often overlook, particularly in this day and age, but even in his human nature.
Jesus is the second Adam has dominion over the earth and man created in the image of God was given the task of naming the animals and taming the animals because the animal kingdom is here not to rule over human beings, but they are here to be ruled by the human banks and this is a dramatic manifestation of the because Jesus is willing obviously to sacrifice the lives of 2000 pigs as valuable as they may be in and of themselves, and to the economy of the region.
Jesus is saying there's a human being here a creature made in the image of God, who is being destroyed day and night by these demons. I have to put them somewhere whatever it takes to redeem this human so before we cast aspersions Jesus lack of compassion. Keep in mind that it was his compassion but drives him to destroy the pics for the sake of one human life.
That's how valuable human life is it's only in the culture of death.
It's only in a culture where human life is denigrated is not esteemed but people begin to value animals more than people go to India watch the people starving on the street while at the same time worshiping Cowles the could be feeding them. That's what happens when the world gets topsy-turvy and pigs become more important than people. Beloved a herd of 2000 takes was a big hurt and was something that was extremely valuable in the economy of that day, as I said the Roman soldiers liked their pork and so it was a lucrative enterprise to be feeding the swine and selling them to the Romans. But when the people saw what happened. They ran away. They told everybody in the city in the country people not to see what happened. So then I came to Jesus. Then Ali saw Jesus, but they saw this man who had been demon possessed and add the Legion and now instead of screaming and cutting himself with stones. They see him sitting calmly closed not in shreds and tatters and in his right mind, they saw the fruit of the redemptive touch of Christ. They saw a human being rescued from the ravages of hell they saw something that they never in their wildest dreams ever expected to see what was their response member I keep drawing parallels between this and the storm came before when the people from the town came out to see what it happened. They see the absence of the swine and they recognize this person who lived in the tombs cut himself with stones seated close in his right mind so they decided to have a party like the prodigal son.
He was lost is found there was destroyed as redeem.
Let's celebrate. Let's invite Jesus into the city know not on your life.
How does Mark describe the reaction they were afraid.
Why would they be afraid of somebody who changed were raving savages in the calm sedate rational people, but you see again, it's the presence of the holy and when the holy one is manifest in the midst of unholy people. The only appropriate human response is read and tear and fear. So then they began to beg Jesus once more.
This is the third time that we read of begging. In this text and what are they begging Jesus for the same thing I mentioned couple of weeks ago with Peter begged for at the draft of fishes.
When Jesus manifested his power on that occasion human what Peter said apart from me from an evil man that's response to the people from the town like amount they see Jesus even if they're scared to death and they say chases leave please leave they liked him to go away. They begged him to go away. Then in verse 18 when they got into the boat, the one who had been demon possessed start begging see was it again.
But what's this man begging for he begged Christ that he might go with them. Let me be part of your entourage, where he leads.
We all fall wherever you go, Jesus. That's where I want to be. Please let me go with you but were Jesus gave permission to demons, he denied permission to this man who'd been restored. It's enough you can go with me. You go all you go back home and when you get there you tell your family, you tell your friends you tell everybody in your community how the Lord has had compassion on you.
So he departed, he went to Decapolis and he proclaimed there all Jesus is done for and people would you like to know the results of this man's ministry one day.
I suppose we will find out healed, restored to his right minded commission by Christ to be an evangelist when the credible story, we welcome you to the so the addition of Renewing Your Mind. Our teacher Dr. RC Sproul is been taking us through Mark's gospel each Sundays going verse by verse through Mark and our resource offer today is designed to help you to get the most out of your study. It's RC's commentary on Mark's gospel is nearly 400 pages.
It's a hardbound volume very attractive book in there were offering it to you for your gift of any amount.
This is an online offer only.
So we invite you to go to renewing your my.org with your gifts and make your request you're giving is what propels this ministry forward and were thankful your gifts go toward publishing new resources in English and many other languages. In fact, the Spanish translation of the Reformation study Bible has been completed and will be released in just a couple of weeks. It will provide a theological library in one book for our Spanish-speaking brothers and sisters when you support later ministries to help ensure this work continues to help as many people grow in their knowledge of God and his character will a sick daughter and a desperate father next week. Drs. Paul continues his series from the Gospel of Mark with the story of gyrus. We help you make plans to be with us for Renewing Your Mind