“And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. and when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him, and cried with a loud voice, and 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. For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit. And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them. And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea. And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. 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. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts. And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.”—Mark 5:1-20

Too much religion begins with man. You and I shall never understand the way of grace, mercy and salvation until we see it as God’s work, performed in God’s way, according to God’s will. Millions who meet for worship today are no closer to grace than the legion of demons who possessed the Gadarene of Mark 5 – you can be in Christ’s company and heading for hell. If we are not to be among the legion of the damned our only hope is that the Lord Jesus Christ will come and deliver us from the bondage of our nature and the deserved condemnation of our sin.

When Jesus left the coast of Capernaum and headed out into Lake Galilee He was on a mission to find one of His elect. These two did not stumbled upon each other by chance! Like the Good Shepherd the Lord went looking for His lost sheep and knew to find him amongst the tombs. The Gadarene, driven by demons, had no awareness of the transformation that was about to happen, but when God Almighty comes to deliver His people there is no resisting His will.

Throughout the Bible God the Holy Spirit speaks of ‘My covenant’. A covenant is an agreement and this agreement of which God speaks is His own. God made this covenant, this agreement, with Himself to the end that He would save a people, redeem them from their sins and fit them for everlasting life with holy perfection and divine righteousness; righteousness He personally would supply. Those He chose to save were elected from the people of this world as a definite number which has never changed. No one is added and none are lost. These are God’s covenant people.

The Lord Jesus Christ as part of this covenant left heaven, took our flesh, and came to secure the liberty of the elect by redeeming their lives with His life’s blood; interposing and substituting Himself for them. He took their guilt under the broken law of God and He supplies their righteousness according to the gracious gift of God.

God called this great transaction salvation and He freely gives the privileges and benefits of this salvation to those chosen to it. These benefits are eternal life, forgiveness of sin, peace of conscience, acceptance and fellowship with God in Christ. There is consistency in God’s will to save. Christ’s accomplished salvation, and the dispensing of the blessings of salvation by God the Holy Spirit are for God’s chosen ones alone. Election, redemption and conversion unfold in perfect harmony

The Gadarene was one of those whom God chose in eternity, and for whom the Lord Jesus Christ died in time. Now, in order that God’s outpourings of grace be experienced in the vessels of mercy, the Saviour Himself travelled to meet this poor creature and deliver Him from the bondage of sin and Satan. A Gadarene demoniac was to be the very next citizen of the Kingdom of God upon earth.

There, amongst the hillside tombs that ran down to the sea of Galilee, Jesus Christ sought one of God’s elect, cleaned his soul, brought peace to his heart and preached good news in his ear. He whispered, as it were, “I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee”.

A short time before this meeting the Lord Jesus Christ had stilled the wind and stopped the waves as He and His disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee. Now He stilled the heart of a wild man and brought peace to a troubled soul. Such is the power and authority of our King.

It is my prayer that the Lord Jesus Christ will find you, too, in the place of your need, in your lost and helpless state, and whisper peace to your soul. May He, in the preaching of the gospel, rise as the Sun of Righteousness rose that morning upon the Gadarene shore, with healing in His wings when the long night of darkness is over.

Peter Meney


Comments are closed.

Copyright © 2019, The Association of Historic Baptists