If you are a pastor or lay person who wants to use this to preach in church – that is why I posted it. I don’t care about credit, I only care that God’s word is preached and Christ is glorified. I pray He uses this sermon in a mighty way through you. You have my permission to alter it and use it however God leads you. God bless you in your ministry. You can bookmark this to check out the other free written sermons on my blog.
To a Jewish person, the worst case scenario would be to be considered unclean.
Do you remember six weeks ago we covered the story of the leper?
Jesus healed him and what did the man have to do? Go and be proclaimed clean by the priest.
There was a process to make clean that which was unclean… a purification process.
Samaritans and Jews in building – Samaritans kept throwing pig carcasses in Jewish building sites holding up construction for 7 days every time.
Unclean x 4
The eastern side was a place largely under the name of the Decapolis – the towns were Helenized – which means they’ve given in to Greek culture and while they were Jewish descendants, they were by no means practicing Jews – a clue in the scripture is they were raising pigs.
Gentile community, graveyard – death and things that touches a dead person, demons, pigsGentiles were unclean… dead bodies were unclean… The Jewish teaching about uncleanness was expounded upon to include the things the unclean touched.
DEMON POSSESSED GUY –
Preached this before 4 years ago – could have easily pulled that sermon back out – preached it from the perspective of dealing with “undesirables” –
Jesus not only led the disciples to a place where the outsiders lived – the gentiles – He led them right to an outsider even the outsiders considered an outsider – an outsider even the outsiders despised.
The disciples had to think they were in the wrong place at the wrong time – This defines the idea of a bad trip – storm at sea and then this guy……
Out of the frying pan into the fire – from the stormy seas to the storm that was the demon possessed guy on the shore –
I remember when we started going to the Union Rescue Mission in Cumberland – I will admit to you that I was unsure of the people there. Walking along the sidewalk in front of the mission, walking past the building that housed the liquor store and seeing people sitting on the steps hunched over, or several of them gathered, watching me. And then the people inside, as well. It is across the tracks, right by the tracks and the trains go by. It can be intimidating.
We sometimes take new people to the mission and they want to stay in the kitchen and dip out the food. When a group from ACM came when Adam was going to school there, to join us one day, one young man would absolutely not take food out in the dining area to the people there. He stayed in the kitchen and dipped the food. I understand. We went a couple of weeks ago and Easton and I passed out the to go boxes and Easton’s mom Molly and brother Liam served the people eating indoors – I was so proud of Easton when I asked him if he wanted to hand me the food to hand out or if he wanted me to hand him the food to hand out, he said I could hand him the food and he would give it to the people. Later when Molly asked Easton how it went, Easton said it went good…. he added that there was a lot of cigarette smoke and he heard a lot of the F word. Quite frankly – That’s how a lot of people talk and smell there.
Demons try to negotiate with Jesus –
Chapters and verses added to help us – sometimes they can throw us off – This could be part two of last weeks sermon when the disciples were in the storm and Jesus calmed the storm – the wind and the waves obey Jesus – Jesus calmed the storm – in the case of the wind and waves – it was the storm outside – in the story of the demon possessed man – it is the storm on the inside.
“What have I to do with you? Don’t torment me – (Matthew adds “before it’s time”).”
Send us into the pigs –
Jesus obliges – and there go the demons into 2,000 pigs and there go 2,000 pigs over a cliff and into the sea to die.
NIBC – “It is an unforgettable picture – the herd blindly rushing on with no sight of impending doom, driven by mass hysteria.”
“This sobering thought is the dark background of all our days: in prosperity as in adversity, is the same blind rush of humanity to a steep cliff of doom taking place again?”
You do know the world is lost, right? So when the world is leading the church, where do you think the world is taking the church? I’ll tell you where: Over a steep cliff of doom. By the time you see you have gone over a cliff, it’s too late – you’re drowning in the sea. And it ain’t the sea of forgetfulness……
Too many people want to negotiate with God. I’ll buy this, but not that. I’ll accept being saved and forgo hell for heaven, but don’t tell me how to live my life.
JESUS IS A DISTURBER OF FAMILIAR WAYS –
How remarkable is it that the Scripture says they see the guy who used to be naked and demon possessed now sitting clothed and in his right mind and they were NOW afraid?
The people are afraid of the now new man and don’t want Jesus around. It is remarkable how people are so afraid of change that they would rather put up with an uncontrollable naked madman than give the new man a chance.
I think that’s likely one of the reasons the now sane man wants to go with Jesus – don’t leave me here with these people – they do not get me.
But Jesus says – go tell your friends what God has done for you…
They are gonna ……..freak ………out……….
I want to go down one more path to bring today’s message to a close –
I mentioned that I preached this Scripture before from the perspective of dealing with a person far from God – someone you could well be afraid of…. someone who has this inner struggle….with a war raging within themselves –
But is it possible…. Is there any way for you to put yourself in the place of this man before his interaction with Jesus? Can you put yourself in the place of the man who was uncontrollable, at war within himself, unworthy of Jesus’ mercy?
Or do you find yourself saying, “Oh, sure…I needed saved, but I was never that bad….” Do you see the problem with that thinking?
I thank God I am not like THAT sinner….
That is the worst kind of lost – At least this lunatic knew he was lost. Hell is going to be full of people who were unwilling to admit they were the worst kind of sinner. We are ALL the worst kind of sinner – we all need the same grace and mercy.
God came to call sinners to repentance. Jesus said it is sick people who need a physician. This man needed a physician. I needed a physician – I needed a Savior. There was nothing else that could save a wretch like me.
There was not less blood required for your sin than the worst person you can think of….
It took the same blood to cover the cigarette smelling, F Bomb dropping, scam running, drug using people on the streets of Cumberland as it took to cover the preacher who stands before you today.