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5. A HOPELESS CASE (Mark.5:1-20)

BACKGROUND: The man in this text is probably a pagan, because he was living on the eastern side of Lake Galilee. Pagans raised pigs and ate them, which was not allowed for the Jews. Evil spirits often take possession of a person through idol worship. A legion was an equivalent of 6000 soldiers in Roman army.
  1. The man with an evil spirit had relatives (vs.19). What had they tried to do to save this man from his horrible fate?
    • What was the worst thing in this situation for his wife, children and parents (vs.3-5)?
    • What kinds of people in our time are thought to be hopeless cases to the same degree as the man in the text?
  2. Which of the things in verses 3-7 did the man do of his own will, and which of them did the evil spirits force him to do?
    • What did this man want from Jesus (vs.6-7)? (What contradiction can you see in the behavior of this man?)
  3. What did the man know about Jesus beforehand, and where did he get this information (vs.7)?
  4. What might be the reason 6000 evil spirits could enter one single human being (vs.9)?
    • What does the conversation between Jesus and the spirits reveal to us about the power structure in the unseen world (vs.8-13)?
    • Why did Jesus allow the evil spirits to do what they asked?
    • Perhaps there are people in this Bible study who are afraid of spirits, ghosts or darkness. What consolation can this passage give to such a person?
  5. Why didn't the Gerasenes rejoice about their neighbor becoming well again (vs.14-17)?
    • How much would 2000 pigs cost in our day?
    • How would you react if Jesus destroyed all your possessions in order to save one human being?
  6. How many things changed in the life of this man?
    • After meeting Jesus, what do you suppose he thought about the years that he had spent in the caves? (How did Jesus change this man's life from a minus to a big plus?)
  7. Why didn't Jesus want this man to follow him (vs.18-19)?
    • Why did Jesus command this pagan to tell about the miracle, although he often asked Jews not to do it?
  8. Jesus speaks the words in verse 19 to all of us today. What do they mean to you in your present situation? (What are the great things the Lord would like you to tell to your relatives?)
    • According to this text, how should you treat the person you regard as a hopeless case?
  9. Jesus won this contest with Satan with points 10-0. Why then did he lose his case contest in Calvary?
GLAD TIDINGS: The leader may read Isaiah 52:14 and 53:3. Jesus on the cross had this in common with the Gerasene man: at that moment a legion of evil spirits was allowed to torture him. This happened because at that moment Jesus took the blame for our sins before God.

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