NAKED IN A GRAVEYARD
© 2004 by Jerry L. Croasmun
"This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain . . . Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones."
Read Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; and Luke 8:26-37 to learn what Jesus did when he met a naked man who lived in a graveyard. You might conclude the man to be a little crazy and out of his mind. If so, you would be correct in your observation. Actually the man was demon-possessed. This man lived in the tombs or graveyard across the Sea of Galilee in the region of the Gerasenes.
In Mark 5:3, 5 we read, "This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain . . . Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones."
Immediately upon seeing Jesus, the demon-possessed man fell upon his knees and began declaring the deity of Jesus. In Verse 7 we read, "He shouted at the top of his voice, 'What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!'" The demons, speaking through the man, clearly knew who Jesus was. (See also James 2:19.)
One of the demons spoke to Jesus saying his name was, "Legion," because there were many. The demons begged Jesus to allow them to occupy the bodies of pigs who were feeding nearby. In verse 8 we read, "For Jesus had said to him, 'Come out of this man, you evil spirit!'" In verse 13 we read, "He [Jesus] gave them [the demons] permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake [the Sea of Galilee] and were drowned."
A graveyard, a demon-possessed man, and a herd of 2,000 pigs are all key elements to the text; however, we must not focus on these. The story really is all about Jesus. The tombs or graveyard represent death; yet, Jesus represents life. He said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full [more abundantly]."
In Mark 5:5 we read of the man cutting himself; self-mutilation. Are you or someone you know afflicted with this? Jesus, Son of the Most High God, is still the answer and is able to deliver and set those free who call upon Him.
The man, as a result of his interaction with Jesus, was no longer naked, but sat fully clothed and was in his right mind. (See Mark 5:15.) Likewise, in Galatians 3:26-27 we read, "You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ." It is all about Jesus. We are clothed in Christ Jesus and He is the only One who can protect and heal our minds.
The demon possessed man had lived in the graveyard separated from his family and loved ones. As a result of meeting Jesus, he was now able to return home. In Mark 5:19 we read Jesus' instructions to the man, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you." Are you separated from your family or loved ones? If so, know that Jesus is also the healer of relationships.
In Mark 5:20 we read, "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." Likewise, it is time that we realize the graveyards of this world are not our homes. May God richly bless you as you recognize and share with others what He has done for you.
I pray you will find comfort in the words of Romans 6:23, "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Amen.
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