Episode 5: To the Decapolis – Casting Out Demons (Along the Road)

Episode 5: To the Decapolis – Casting Out Demons (Along the Road)


THERE ARE A SET OF CITIES
CALLED THE DECAPOLIS CITIES, AND THOSE CITIES HAVE A VERY, VERY SPECIFIC PURPOSE AND FUNCTION WHERE THEY’RE
LOCATED, AND THEY’RE INTENDED TO INFLUENCE THE REGION OVER
WHICH THEY HAVE CONTROL. THE WAY PEOPLE THOUGHT
AND LIVED OVER HERE WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT
THAN THE WAY PEOPLE THOUGHT AND LIVED ON THE OTHER
SIDE OF THE LAKE. WHAT THEY ATE FOR DINNER: HERE YOU COULD EAT PORK,
THERE YOU CERTAINLY COULDN’T. WHAT YOU DID ON SATURDAY
WAS DIFFERENT. THAT SIDE OF THE LAKE
YOU OBSERVED SHABBAT, ON THIS SIDE OF
THE LAKE YOU WORKED. THE PEOPLE LIVING ON THIS SIDE
OF THE LAKE ARE… ARE GENTILES. THEY WORK HERE IN ORDER TO CONVINCE THE LOCALS THAT EVERYTHING ABOUT THE PAGAN
GRECO-ROMAN WORLD WAS BETTER THAN WHAT THE LOCAL
CULTURES HAD TO OFFER. WHEN YOU LOOK AT JESUS’ LIFE, AND ONE THAT WAS DEDICATED
ALMOST EXCLUSIVELY TO CARING FOR
DESCENDANTS OF ABRAHAM ON THE NORTHWEST SHORE
OF THE SEA OF GALILEE, YOU’VE GOTTA ASK THE QUESTION,
WHAT’S HE DOING OVER HERE? WHEN THE EARLY
CHRISTIANS CAME HERE IN THE CENTURIES
AFTER JESUS WAS HERE, THEY OFTEN BUILT WORSHIP
FACILITIES WHERE, THEY BELIEVE, STORIES OF JESUS LIFE WERE TOLD. THIS IS THE LARGEST THAT WE HAVE
IN THE ENTIRE GALILEE AREA, SO THERE MUST BE AN IMPORTANT STORY, OR SET OF STORIES, HERE. COME, COME AND LOOK. JUST HERE,
JUST HERE, DO YOU SEE? DO YOU SEE THE BASKET
IN THIS MOSAIC FLOOR? FEEDING OF THE FOUR THOUSAND, THAT WAS A DECAPOLIS STORY. THAT’S ONE PIECE
OF EVIDENCE THAT I WANTED TO
SHOW YOU HERE. THERE’S ANOTHER ONE BUT WE’RE
GONNA HAVE TO WALK TO GET THERE. IT’S ON… IT’S ON
TOP OF THAT RIDGE. THE EARLY CHRISTIANS
IN THE FIFTH CENTURY BELIEVED THAT
THIS WAS A TOMB, AND SO IT WAS THE HOME
OF THE DEMON-POSSESSED MAN. DOESN’T LOOK LIKE MUCH OF A CAVE
ANYMORE, BUT THAT TELLS ME THAT THIS PLACE WAS IMPORTANT
TO THE EARLY CHRISTIANS, TOO. THEY WERE THINKING
ABOUT A STORY, BUT IT’S NOT THE SAME STORY
THAT WE SAW BELOW. OUR FIRST DECAPOLIS
STORY FEATURES A MAN WHO LIVED THERE, IN KURSI,
BUT HE DOESN’T HAVE THE KIND OF LIFE YOU
WOULD HAVE WANTED TO HAVE. HE WAS POSSESSED BY
HUNDREDS OF DEMONS, AND WHEN MARK TELLS
THIS STORY TO US, HE TELLS IT IN A WAY THAT
HIGHLIGHTS JUST HOW AWFUL THIS MAN’S LIFE HAD BECOME.
HE WAS TERRIBLY VIOLENT PEOPLE WERE SO AFRAID
OF HIM THAT THEY… THEY MADE HIM LIVE
OUT IN THE CEMETERY. IN THE CEMETERY HE FOUND
NEIGHBORS WHO WOULD AT LEAST TOLERATE HIS EXISTENCE.
BUT THE DEMONS DIDN’T STOP. THEY KEPT BOTHERING HIM
AND BOTHERING HIM. HE WOULD…
HE WOULD CUT HIMSELF. HE WAS A MAN IN
REALLY PITIFUL STRAITS, AND HE’S THE MAN
WHO MEETS JESUS. AS SOON AS THE BOW OF THEIR
BOAT HITS THE SHORELINE, THIS MAN COMES RUNNING
OUT OF THE TOMBS, RUNNING OUT OF THE CEMETERY, SCREAMING AND… AND YELLING. I HAVE THE SENSE THAT
THE DISCIPLES WANTED NOTHING TO DO WITH
GETTING OUT OF THE BOAT. WELL, JESUS DID.
AND YOU KNOW, I’M NOT SO SURE
I WOULD HAVE BEEN SO BRAVE. IF I SEE A MAN FROTHING AT THE
MOUTH, YELLING AND SCREAMING, RUNNING AT ME, I THINK I MIGHT
TURN AND RUN THE OTHER WAY. JESUS STOOD HIS GROUND.
HE LET THE MAN COME UP TO HIM. THE MAN DID.
HE FELL ON HIS KNEES, AND IT WASN’T THE MAN
BUT THE DEMONS WITHIN WHO BEGAN THIS
DIALOGUE WITH JESUS. THEY TRIED TO NEGOTIATE
FOR A BETTER OUTCOME THAN THE ONE THAT
THEY WERE EXPECTING. AND THE OUTCOME JESUS GAVE THEM
OCCURRED OUT ON THE FAR RIDGE JUST TO THE SOUTH OF US.
THERE JESUS TOOK THOSE DEMONS THAT HAD TORMENTED
AND SO FILLED THAT MAN, AND HE DROVE THEM INTO PIGS. THEY TOOK THAT NEW HOST AND CAUSED THOSE PIGS TO
RUN DOWN INTO THE WATER, AND THEY WERE…
THEY WERE DROWNED. NOW WHEN THE NEWS
REACHED THE LOCAL COMMUNITY THAT THEIR HERD OF SWINE
HAD BEEN DROWNED, REMEMBER IT’S THEIR FOOD SUPPLY, THEY HAD TO GO OUT
AND SEE WHAT WAS GOING ON. AND WHEN THEY GOT THERE
THEY DIDN’T LIKE WHAT THEY SAW, BECAUSE THEY SAW THIS MAN
THAT THEY HAD ONLY KNOWN AS THE CRAZY GUY WHO
LIVED IN THE CEMETERY, THE WILD MAN WHO THEY
COULDN’T BIND WITH CHAINS, THEY SAW THIS GUY
SITTING AT JESUS’ FEET, MARK SAYS
IN HIS RIGHT MIND, AND THEY BECAME MORE AFRAID
OF THE POWER WITHIN JESUS THAN THEY HAD BEEN OF
THE POWER WITHIN THE DEMONS. AND SO THEY SAID TO JESUS,
“YOU HAVE TO LEAVE. “YOU HAVE TO LEAVE
OUR SIDE OF THE LAKE. “YOU HAVE TO
GET OUT OF HERE “BECAUSE WE PREFER
THE DEMONS WE KNOW “TO THIS NEW POWER THAT
WE DON’T UNDERSTAND AT ALL.” THE SECOND REACTION MARK RECORDS
IS A VERY DIFFERENT REACTION. THE MAN WHO HAD BEEN HEALED
RAN TO JESUS, AND FOR THE FIRST TIME
WE HEAR THIS MAN SPEAKING, AND HE SAYS SOMETHING THAT
WE TOTALLY APPRECIATE: “DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT ME. “PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE
DON’T LEAVE WITHOUT ME. “I KNOW WHAT THIS SIDE
OF THE LAKE IS ABOUT. “YOU’RE DIFFERENT AND ALL I WANT TO DO IS GO AND BE WITH YOU.” JESUS DOES SOMETHING INCREDIBLE.
HE TURNS TO THE MAN AND SAYS NO. THE MORE I WALK AND THE MORE
I THINK ABOUT THAT STORY, THE MORE QUESTIONS I HAVE.
WHY DIDN’T JESUS ALLOW HIM TO GET IN THE BOAT
AND GO BACK WITH HIM TO A SIDE OF THE LAKE
THAT WOULD ALLOW HIM TO GROW MORE IN HIS FAITH?
I ACTUALLY FOUND THE ANSWERS IN MY SECOND VISIT
TO JESUS IN THIS LOCATION. HE CAME BACK HERE
AND, WHEN HE DID, ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING
ABOUT THIS PLACE HAD CHANGED. HE CAME TO THIS SIDE OF
THE LAKE TO HELP ONE MAN, AND IN HELPING THAT ONE MAN
HE BROUGHT THOUSANDS OF OTHER PEOPLE INTO HIS ORBIT,
BECAUSE THAT ONE MAN’S STORY CREATED THOUSANDS
OF OTHER STORIES AS JESUS CAME INTO
THIS AREA BECAUSE, YOU SEE, THOSE PEOPLE WERE
SO ANXIOUS TO BE AROUND HIM THEY WOULDN’T GO HOME
EVEN WHEN THEY WERE HUNGRY. I GET HUNGRY AND I GET
READY TO GO HOME. IT TAKES A PRETTY POWERFUL
TEACHER TO HOLD ME OUT IN THE FIELD
PAST MY DINNERTIME. AND SO WHEN…
WHEN THEY STARTED TO GET REALLY
HUNGRY AFTER THREE DAYS, JESUS WASN’T ABOUT
TO LET THEM DOWN. IN FACT, WHAT HE DOES IS ANOTHER
PART OF THIS DECAPOLIS STORY. HE… HE FEEDS THOSE
THOUSANDS OF FAMILIES WHO’VE GATHERED ON THESE
HILLSIDES WITH A MIRACLE. HE TAKES JUST
A SMALL AMOUNT OF FOOD THAT THE DISCIPLES
WERE ABLE TO COLLECT, AND HE TURNS WHAT
WOULDN’T FEED A FAMILY INTO WHAT FED THOUSANDS. AND WOW, DOES THAT
CREATE A DECAPOLIS STORY, BECAUSE IT LOOKS EXACTLY
LIKE THE GALILEE STORY THAT HE DID EARLIER. REMEMBER, ON THE NORTHWEST SIDE OF THE SEA OF GALILEE
HE FED 5,000 PEOPLE, OBSERVANT JEWISH PEOPLE ON THEIR
WAY TO PASSOVER IN JERUSALEM. JESUS WAS TREATING THOSE
TWO GROUPS OF PEOPLE IN EXACTLY THE SAME WAY, AND HE
DID IT IN ORDER TO MAKE SURE THAT I KNEW BEYOND
A SHADOW OF A DOUBT HE LOVES ME AND
HE CARES ABOUT ME. AND IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT
ETHNIC WORLD YOU COME FROM, JESUS CAME TO SUFFER
AND DIE FOR YOU, AND HE CAME TO SUFFER
AND DIE FOR ME, AND HE CAME TO MAKE SURE THAT
WE UNDERSTOOD ALL OF THAT, BY LEAVING THAT SIDE OF THE LAKE
AND COMING TO THE DECAPOLIS.

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