Mark 5:17 And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
The opening line of Mark 5 depicts a demon possessed man who lived in the country of the Gadarenes. The Bible spares no detail of the horrid conditions of his existence or the havoc he caused among the people. The men of the city had often bound him, but the scripture says that he “tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.”
The lot of them lived in fear as the demons cried out. He cut himself with sharpened stones and lived among the graves. In reality, the man was not the only one tormented; the entire city was also.
Jesus stepped onto the shore of that oppressed place and immediately the man came running to Him. The legion begged Jesus not to torture them, even recognizing Jesus as “Son of the Most High God.” Jesus cast them out and they entered into about 2,000 swine, which in turn ran down a steep hill and drowned themselves in the sea. This deliverance finds the man sitting, clothed, and in his right mind. It was a miracle of supernatural proportions. Nevertheless, the men of the city considered their loss. Their herd of swine were dead.
Verse 17 tells the story of the modern day church and the cost of revival. To have Jesus in all of His power and authority, comes at a personal cost. To see people delivered from demonic oppression and the chains of a world society always comes at a price. To be certain, there is no salvation without suffering. To see a family saved or a person delivered or a revival break out . . . there is a price to pay.
While no one would openly speak, many have begged Jesus to leave their “coasts.” The men of that city asked Jesus to leave because the healing of the maniac from Gadara came at the cost of their lives. Deliverance and revival still makes a demand of us. It will cost us time, prayer, money, energy, and personal pursuits.
My prayer is that we will not consider the cost, but we will consider the difference of an eternal destination. Our prayer is for Jesus to come and not to leave. We pray that Jesus will use us to reach the lost; that He will restore lives given into our hands. Regardless of the cost, our city is worth saving.
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole