April 12

Mark 5:18-20 18As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.

On this first venture into Gentile territory, Jesus' boat was met by a storm. Then upon arrival, the welcome committee came to meet Him. It was a demon possessed man who could not even be held by chains. God was bringing the light of the world to the Gentiles, and Satan was doing all he could to keep that from happening. Whenever the Kingdom of God is about to go forward, Satan will be there in opposition. But watch how Jesus turns it around!

The demons did not leave when Jesus commanded them to. They recognized that He had the authority and that they will one day meet their destined fate, but for now they asked to go into a herd of pigs. The Greeks sacrificed pigs to their gods, so this would have been comparable to a flock of sheep to the Jews. Jesus gave them permission, and the pigs jumped off a cliff into the ocean. The people of the region asked Jesus to leave. This Jew, Jesus, had caused them to lose their valuable sacrifices. It looks like Satan won that round, as Jesus had to leave. But Jesus had one more surprise move.

The man who had been possessed wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus sent him back into the town to be a witness of the deliverance that Jesus can bring to men. This infamous man became the first Gentile missionary of the Gospel! When Jesus later returned to the region, He fed the 4000 and many were healed and delivered. Satan may win a round, but Jesus wins in the end! What is incredibly marvelous is that He uses the most unlikely characters to defeat Satan's schemes. If He can use an infamous demon possessed man who was into self-mutilation, He can use you and me too.

Consider: The Lamb always wins, and in the process, shows His amazing attributes of love, mercy and grace.