ENCOUNTERS WITH JESUS
Week 2: Jesus Casts Out the Demons
Bible: Mark 5:1-20
Bottom Line: Jesus has power over sin.
Good morning! We’re in the week 2 of our series titled Encounters with Jesus.
Last week we looked at the story of the widow of Nain. She had lost her husband, and she was on her way to bury her only son. But then she had an encounter with Jesus. Jesus had compassion for the woman, so He raised her son from the dead. That encounter reminds us that Jesus has power over death!
Today, we’re going to look at another example of Jesus’ power. Jesus has power over death, and Jesus also has power over sin. Today’s encounter is even wilder than last week’s, so be prepared. But before we get into it, let’s start with a question.
What is Sin? If someone asked you to define sin, what would you say?
There are many ways to define sin, so we’re going to narrow it down to one definition. When we’re talking about sin, here is how we will define sin…
Sin is doing what I want to do, not what God wants me to do. Most of us think of sin as just disobeying some rules, but it’s really more about putting our own desires before God’s desires. If we’re being honest, we would all say that we’ve done that. We’ve all sinned. The Bible even says so!
So, in today’s encounter, we’re going to meet a man that the Bible says was possessed by demons. His life and his entire body had actually been taken over by sin.
The man lived outside the city, near the cemetery and tombs. People had tried to control him by putting him in chains, but the Bible says he would just break through the chains. The sin inside this man was powerful and out of control.
Let’s read what happens when this man encounters Jesus. Open your Bibles to Mark 5, and we’ll read verse 6-10.
When the demons see Jesus, they know exactly who He is! They start begging for mercy because they know the power of Jesus. The name, Legion, refers to the number of demons inside the man. Legion could mean anywhere from 3,000 to 6,000. Whichever the amount, Jesus was clearly outnumbered by these demons. But even though there were thousands of demons inside the man, they all shuddered at the sight of Jesus. Look at the next verses…
Read Mark 5:11-14
In the next moments, Jesus casts the thousands of demons out of the man and sends them into a herd of about 2,000 pigs. The Bible says that the pigs immediately rushed down the slope of the hill, into the lake, and they all drowned…I told you this was a wild story!
Did you notice the power that Jesus had over the demons? The demons couldn’t even move without asking permission from Jesus. Not only do they shudder at the sight of Him, but they actually submit to Him and obey Him! Jesus has the ultimate power over sin.
After that, the pig farmers ran to tell everyone else what they had seen. The people from the town came out to see what was going on. They all knew the demon-possessed man. They had seen the man acting crazy and being controlled by the demons. They had all seen the power that sin had over his life.
Read Mark 5:15.
The people had seen this man controlled by sin, but now he was normal. He was clothed and in his right mind! By the power of Jesus, the demons had left the man and he was healed. The Bible says that the people were afraid. They had witnessed the amazing power of Jesus over sin, and they just couldn’t understand it.
The whole encounter shows us that Jesus has power over sin. The man was completely taken over by sin. The people tried to control the sin, but the man just broke the chains. The only person that could help this man was Jesus. Jesus has power over sin!
We admitted earlier that we all sin. We might not be possessed like this man, but we are all controlled in some way by sin. Maybe it’s in our actions or our attitudes, but we are all affected by sin. The truth we want you to understand is that Jesus has power over sin.
As we get one week closer to Easter, this encounter with Jesus reminds us that He has power over sin. His death on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice for our sins. Through His blood, the Bible says that we can have forgiveness.
So why is this wild story in the Bible? Is this story there just to make people scared of demons? Is this story there to make people afraid of Jesus? Is the story there to show how much God dislikes pigs? NO! None of those really make any sense.
Every miracle of Jesus is included in the Bible to show that He has power over death and He has power over sin! Jesus healed the lame, gave sight to the blind, and raised the dead to life so that we would see His power to save us!
Jesus has power over sin. That power comes from His death on the Cross and His resurrection from the grave. That power is necessary in order for us to be saved. If we place our faith in Jesus as Lord, the Bible says that we will share in His victory over sin and death.
Next week, on Easter, we’re going to look at the greatest story ever told. We’re going to see how the Resurrection is our rescue from sin and death.
SMALL Activity: SLAVES TO RIGHTEOUSNESS
(Supplies: 4 White 2” strips of paper to make a chain, Fine point permanent markers)
Today, we’ve learned that Jesus has power over sin! Romans 6:18 says, “You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” This verse reminds us that Jesus has broken the power of sin and has set us free. But our freedom cost Jesus His life. His sacrifice calls us to love, honor, and serve Him with our lives. This is what it means to be a slave to righteousness.
We’re going to create paper chains for a reminder that we are no longer slaves to sin, but slaves to righteousness. Make each set of “chains” have 4 links. On each link, we’ll write a Scripture reference that reminds us of our freedom in Christ. Let’s read those verses now.
Read the following verses and then write each reference on a chain link:
2 Corinthians 5:17
1. Describe the life of the demon-possessed man. How had sin affected his life?
2. What do you think the other people thought and said about this man?
3. What did the people try to do to the man? (Chains, exile, etc.) How was Jesus’ plan different? (Freedom, healing, acceptance)
4. What was the reaction of the demons when they saw Jesus?
5. How does their reaction demonstrate Jesus’ power over sin?
6. What did Jesus do? How did His actions reveal His power over sin?
7. What was the reaction of the people that saw the encounter? Why do you think they reacted this way?
8. How would you define sin?
9. What are some of the effects of sin in our lives?
10. If someone asked you why Jesus died on the Cross, what would you tell them?
How is Jesus’ resurrection the ultimate victory over sin?