Read: Numbers 8-10, Mark 5:1-20
Charles Spurgeon said that the gospel is a great disturber of sinful peace. Take a moment to let that statement sink in.
Do you ever wonder why the greatest of sinners seem to make the greatest noise when confronted with the Gospel? Those who are most content in their sin are most disturbed by truth.
For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.
Mark 4:22 (NIV)
In Mark 5, Jesus came across a man who had been cast into the dark, hidden away and forced to live among the tombstones (a place no Jew would dare to go because they are considered ceremonially unclean). Why was this man put out of his home? Out of his city? Because he had residing within him a legion of evil spirits. Those spirits gave the man supernatural strength, yet caused him to run about naked and cutting himself. As soon as Jesus drew near, the evil spirits knew what they were confronted with—Truth. And they didn’t like it.
Spurgeon went on to say, they view Jesus as a tormentor, who will rob them of pleasure, sting their consciences, and drive them to obnoxious duties. Those who believe themselves to be happy and content in their sin and evil ways are under the notion that, should they accept the truth, they will be forced into a life of awful servitude. What they don’t see is that a life of truth is a life of freedom.
Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
John 8:32 (NIV)
Under the influence of evil spirits, the possessed man Jesus encountered was cast from him home, forced to live among the dead, stripped of his clothes (and dignity), and made to injure himself. Does this sound like a man who is free to do as he pleases? Whether a person is slave to a legion of evil spirits or a slave to a sin of their own choosing, a slave is a slave. There is no freedom to be found.
It wasn’t until after Jesus had cast the evil spirits from him that the man was free to live his own life. He wanted to travel with Jesus.
Jesus 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 was had mercy on you.” So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Mark 5:19-20 (NIV)
Had the man returned to his city and his family as he was, no one would have been amazed. No one is truly amazed by evil or sin or chasing after pleasure.
What amazes people is a life disturbed, disrupted, and changed by the power of the Gospel, that great disturber of sinful peace.