Last evening my youngest daughter wanted to surprise our family by attempting to do the dishes. But in her attempt to serve us and love us through her service, a dish slipped out of her hand and shattered on the kitchen floor. The moment we heard the crash, we also heard her cry. We rushed into the kitchen to see what was wrong, and what was wrong in her mind wasn’t the broken glass that was spread across the kitchen floor but it was the fact that she knew that there was no fixing what she had broken. She realized when you break glass it would always be broken.
That’s one of the harsh realities of life; what is broken is very difficult to fix and in some cases impossible. In Mark chapter 5, we see a situation that involves brokenness and to the natural eye, this was a situation that is beyond broken. It’s Jesus standing face to face with a man who was possessed with a evil spirit. Up unto this point this was looked at as an absolute irreparable situation. A man who was demon possessed was an outcast, he was pushed on the brink of society and there was nothing that could be done for him.
The Human Predicament
In Mark chapter 5, as he’s traveling and teaching people about the gospel of the kingdom, Jesus runs into this man who had been living in the graveyard. A man who had been so utterly broken and tormented by the reality of what was in him. A man whom people had tried to bind with chains and out of sheer agony and anguish he would break them over and over again and cut himself with those broken pieces. Day and night this man was in the graveyard crying out, cutting himself. Crying because of the level of torment and brokenness he felt within himself. Jesus comes face to face with this man. What I first of all want us to understand is this man possessed with demons is not that different from you and I. No matter how sophisticated our American culture maybe we still have a deep problem than none of us can control. Sin! This is the reality of the human predicament. This is the reality of sin’s effect on the world we live in. Sin is what imprisons us from birth. Sin is what makes us innately broken within. It is the reason why man drifts into the illicit, ungodly things they do. It’s the reason why we have carnal desires that take us away from God’s perfect will.
As it says in Romans 5:12, “As by one man sin entered into the world and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men for that all have sinned.” So as we look at the demoniac man in Mark 5 its obvious people have done everything they could to tame and control him but to no avail. They chained him up, they pushed him out, but none of it helped. You cannot manage and control demons.They must be put under the authority of a greater power. That power in Mark 5 is Jesus Christ and I am excited to know that power is still at work in the world today. People who are bound by the clutch of sin can be completely set free by the marvelous grace of Jesus.
When this demon possessed man finally encounters Jesus, everything changes. He notices Jesus afar off. This man, in his broken shackles and his deep scars looks up and in the distance he sees Jesus. I doubt if he’s ever seen or heard of Jesus before because crazy people in graveyards typically don’t care about popular culture, but there is something about Jesus that was different and appealing to the point that this man recognized the Savior and he runs to Him and bows down worships him. This is the most appropriate response to the work of God in ones life: Worship. The only answer to the human predicament of sin is Jesus. The demoniac man cried out with a loud voice and he said, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou son of the most High God? I adjure thee by God that thou torment me not.” He recognizes that Jesus is the King of all kings. He recognizes that his brokenness is not permanent because of Jesus. He knows that all of man’s attempts to help his problem was useless, but with a simple word Jesus restores all that was broken by sin and satan. “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit” and the demons have to leave at the command of Christ.
When the Gospel Goes Deep the Whole World Knows
The brokenness has been restored through Christ. OUR brokenness has been restored through Christ. In this story, Jesus cast the evil spirit into a herd of pigs and the pigs end up running over a mountain cliff and I’m sure farmers had an issue with loosing their herd, and they wanted to see this man who had been living in the graveyards was the one causing all this commotion. However what they find is not a man filled with rage, but they came and they saw this man who was well collected and in his right mind. All because of the power of Christ. They saw brokenness restored. They saw the effect of the gospel, they saw the effect of the word of Christ in taking what was utterly shattered and bringing it together and making it whole again. That is the power of Christ and that is the same way it works in your life and my life. Those looking at this new man can see that what was irreversible, made whole. Those who look at your life and my life can see the impact of the Gospel in our heart. This man’s life was so radically changed, he wanted to become a disciple but Jesus told him, “Go home to your friends. Tell them how deep the change is within your heart. Tell them how Christ had compassion on you” and he took no time and he departed and published all abroad how great the glory and power of Jesus Christ was for him, and then all men marveled at the work of God in his life. A witness, a gospel witness was established. Every time God changes a life, there is a gospel witness that has been established here on earth. When God restores your brokenness, you now become an ambassador for his work. You become an agent of His love and someone who is called to reflect and shine out gospel light, that then shines deep within other dark hearts that need this Jesus.