by Tony Nester

Christ and Our Demons
Tony Nester
Mark 5:1-20

When I was in high school I was required to take a foreign language class. I
chose French. One the first day of class the French teacher -- a large, imposing
man with a booming voice -- wanted to lay down the law and set all of us
students straight about how we were expected to behave. “My name is Mr. Demon,
and I am a demon of a teacher.” From that day on Mr. Demon had control of the

What do you think about demons and demon possession?

Some people believe that the demon stories in the Bible are really all about
epilepsy and mental illness -- they don’t believe in any kind of alien spiritual
power that can take over people’s lives.

On the other extreme are some Christians who don’t believe in mental illness --
they think that anyone suffering from a mental illness has in fact come under
the influence of satanic attack.

Today I want us to look at this story of the man named “Legion” and see what it
can mean for some of the struggles we face in life.

It’s always important to take note of the context of any Scripture we want to
understand. In this case we’re given a contextual clue that’s geographical.
Mark 5:1 tells us that following the stilling of the storm on the Sea of
Galilee, Jesus and his disciples travel to the other -- that is the eastern side
-- of that body of water. They pull up their boat somewhere in the region of the

What’s important here is that in Mark’s Gospel this is Jesus’ very first time to
enter into wholly Gentile (non-Jewish) territory.

This part of Palestine was called the Decapolis (literally, “Ten Cities”)
because it had ten towns. The second century A.D. writer Pliny named the ten
cities as Damascus, Philadelphia, Canatha, Scythopolis, Pella, Hippos, Gadara,
Dion, Raphana, and Gerasa. They were established after the time of Alexander
the Great and were predominantly Greek in culture an ...

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