Begging Jesus to Leave

Text: Mark 5:1-20

Three times in our text, an individual or group begs/implores Jesus to leave – each one is for a different reason. There are lessons we can learn from each one of these.

The Demons Begged Jesus to Let Them Leave and Enter the Swine (Mark 5:11-13)

  • Shows Jesus’ power over the demons (Mark 5:7) – our struggle is against “spiritual forces of wickedness” (Ephesians 6:12); Jesus is victorious (Revelation 17:14) and we “overwhelmingly conquer through Him” (Romans 8:37); but we must put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:11-17)
  • Shows the demons’ recognition of Jesus’ authority – called Him “Son of the Most High God” (Mark 5:7); implored Him “by God” to not torment them (there was no higher authority to which they could appeal)
  • Shows the demons’ fear of the Lord – this demonstrates a degree of faith (James 2:19); but it was not a saving faith (James 2:24, 26); many today have faith like the demons
  • Shows that Jesus and the demons were not allies – earlier Jesus was accused of casting out demons by the ruler of the demons (Mark 3:22-27); but this could not be (Mark 3:25-26); Jesus said, “The ruler of the world…has nothing in Me” (John 14:30; cf. 2 Corinthians 6:15)

The People Begged Jesus to Leave Their Region (Mark 5:14-17)

  • They saw what happened to the man and the swine and were frightened (Mark 5:15) – not godly fear, but terror; otherwise, no reason to ask Jesus to leave; also strange that they did not rejoice that the man was healed
  • They valued the status quo over another’s spiritual well-being – many people fear change; they ignored the good that had come, preferring to have things the way they were (cf. Matthew 23:13)
  • They valued material things over God’s law – swine were unclean animals to the Jews (Leviticus 11:7); if the owners were Jews, they valued material things over God’s law (Matthew 6:24); even if the owners were Gentiles, the local Jews still implored Jesus to leave, showing their rejection of Christ even though He proved He was from God (Luke 8:37)

The Man Who Was Healed Begged Jesus That He Could Leave with Him (Mark 5:18-20)

  • Understandable that he would want to be with Jesus after being healed – commendable as well, since following Jesus was not easy (Matthew 8:19-20)
  • But it was not his place – Jesus called certain ones to travel with Him (Mark 3:13-15); provides us with a lesson in respecting roles (Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:27-29)
  • The Lord had another work for him (Mark 5:19) – though it was not what he initially wanted to do, he performed his duty well (Mark 5:20); no matter what role we have in the Lord’s kingdom, we must let our light shine (Matthew 5:16)

Conclusion

  • Sadly, many do not want to be with Jesus – they run from Him or beg Him to leave
  • We should want to be with Him – not that we will be in the physical presence of Him here; but if we follow His word, we can be with Him in heaven for eternity

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