Mark 5:1-20

Talks for Growing Christians

The Healing of a Man Possessed with Many Demons

Mark 5:1-20

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Lesson Number 21

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Demons are more than psychological problems.
  2. People are more important than animals.

Practical Application

  1. You are never too far gone for God's saving power.
  2. The Lord will not stay where He is not wanted.
  3. Let's start reporting the great things the Lord has done for us.


  1. Were both Jews and Gentiles living in the Decapolis area?
  2. Who were the herdsmen, the ones raising the swine? Was the business legal?
  3. Did Jesus cause the swine to drown? Why did the swine stampede?
  4. Who are demons? Are they all alike? Can more than one demon inhabit a person?
  5. Are evil spirits all-powerful?
  6. Are people or animals more important?
  7. Some people who have been deep into sin believe that they have gone too far to be saved. Is this true?


  1. Yes. This Roman territory on the southeast side of the Sea of Galilee was less populated, and many Gentiles lived there.
  2. The herdsmen likely were Jews who were raising swine for the Gentile population. According to Jewish law, the Jews were not to eat pork, nor were they to gain money by raising and selling pigs.
  3. No. It was Satan, not the Lord, who was responsible. Also, the owners were conducting an illegal business, so their guilt kept them from condemning the Lord. There are a number of steep banks on this portion of the Galilee, and once the swine started down, they couldn't stop.
  4. Demons are invisible spiritual beings, part of the ranks of evil angels. They differ in character. The ones in this episode are unclean, causing the man to have unclean thoughts and speech. In this case, demons were legion (a Roman Legion consisted of thousands).
  5. No. They have limited and temporary power, being subject to Christ. See Matthew 25:41.
  6. One dysfunctional, demon-possessed man was more important than a thousand animals.
  7. Look at the man in this account. From a naked, wild man out of his mind, we see him sitting, fully clothed and coherent. God can do this for anyone today.


  1. Are there times when you doubt God's sovereign power? Is He really in control over death, disease and demons?
  2. What do you do when people want to be left in their sin? When they reject the salvation that Christ has offered to them?


  1. Do you fully appreciate Christ's Lordship in your life? Have you fully appropriated His enabling power in your life? Do you share with others what great things He has done in your life?

Key Verses

  • "Jesus said to him, 'Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had compassion on you." (Mark 5:19)

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