Mark 5:5 “And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.”
Mark 5:5 tells of a man we know as “Legion” in the mountains and the graveyards, “crying, and cutting himself with stones”. It is so easy to remember this scripture for what one would assume as the negative viewpoint in Mark 5:9 as the devils speak out to Jesus claiming their name to be “Legion”. This generation could easily visualize a scary setting. In an era of Stephen King’s movies, along with today’s zombie popularity there is definitely a fascination with darkness and death. Someone could easily focus on the graveyard, the man breaking chains, the demons speaking to Jesus from the man. This alludes to a mental picture of some ugly scene in an October horror film. As bad as it is, that’s not really the picture Jesus wants us to grasp. The films are not real and the participants are actors in movies but this was a real man, battling a real battle and struggling with real issues.
This man cutting himself with stones illustrates that he was hurting so badly he was cutting. He had separated himself from the rest of the population, perhaps similar to a quarantine. Does that sound familiar? Loneliness, despair, anguish and discouragement was all he knew, one could assume. He was paying the price of a messed-up life. A life full of mistakes, conceivably his, by chance others. Could it be he just got into the wrong crowd? Maybe he went through some extreme loss and couldn’t recover, didn’t know how get through the pain? Maybe he had a disorder and didn’t know how to deal with it and no one to tell him there was help or hope and others deal with this too. Ultimately, he as we all do, found himself in sin at some point. Rom. 3:23 says “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”;
I believe preference could be made to this man’s deliverance over his state of mind. Mark 5: 15 “And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid”. Jesus, is about seeing people who are hurting, confused, lonely, given hope, healing and help! Our humanity is automatically drawn to the man in the tombs, breaking the chains and fetters, often thinking there is no hope for him but there is always hope in Jesus. Perhaps one could look at this scripture hopefully, they focus on the deliverance of the man and not the previous condition. That is how we as Christians should be viewing our world today. A society that is hurting, wounded and needing help. Don’t give up, there is Jesus. What started this process was a man that came and worshipped Jesus, “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him - Mark 5:6. It closed with a man sitting with Jesus in his right mind. Oh, there is power in the name of Jesus!
Why were those that came to see upset? After all this man had been set free! Someone that had no hope suddenly had hope. A person with no peace now had peace of mind. They were upset at the loss of 2000 pigs. The simple cost of one man’s deliverance. It’s easy to get focused on what they lost instead of what they gained.
Thomas Crutchfield is the Pastor of Life United Pentecostal Church and a member to the United Ministerial Alliance.