The man called Legion – All Age Worship

St Barnabas, 28th June 2009

Reading – Mark 5:1-20

This morning’s service was a little different … after an opening song and prayer, Rev Tim divided the church into two teams and the rest of the service followed a quiz format, with help from our scorer, Calum!

Round 1: Warming Up

The region Jesus visited was by the shores of a … (lake)

In what did the man with an evil spirit chose to live? (tombs)

What did the locals use to try and restrain him? (chains)

Which unclean animal was being farmed nearby? (pigs)

What major weather event had happened the night before? (storm)

What was the name of the lake on which Jesus travelled? (Galilee)

So you get the picture. Here is this man with unnatural strength who lives alone and as outcast in the tombs and among the pigs. No-one can restrain him, and he can break every chain people put upon him. But here is Jesus travelling straight towards him, having only the night before rebuked the wind and the waves on Lake Galilee, and calmed a major storm. Clearly there is going to be a major showdown between these two powerful people. Who will prevail? Come back after the break…

Round 2: Mind Your Language

OK, the rules of this round is simple. You have the name of the region, GERASENES. In the course of two minutes each team will take it in turns to see how many words they can get out of this name. No proper names, no plurals, and words must be at least three letters long. A three letter word counts for three points, a four letter word counts for four points, and so on …

Well, there was certainly a lot of anger and rage when Jesus came ashore. Let’s get back to our story and see what happens next…

Round 3: Crunch Point

What did the man with the evil spirit do when he saw Jesus? (Ran and fell on his knees)

Who did the man recognise Jesus to be? (Son of Most High God)

What was the name of the man with the evil spirit? (Legion)

How many pigs were said to be on the nearby hillside? (2000)

What was the name of the ten towns and villages nearby? (Decapolis)

Name two out of the three differences the people saw in the man formerly known as Legion (sitting, dressed, in his right mind).

Clearly, it was Jesus who had more power than the evil spirits afflicting this poor man. You might have thought the story would end there. The man healed, Jesus worshipped as Lord, and everyone rejoicing. But not quite. Let’s take another break and then let’s see what really happened…

Round 4: Facts to Boar You

An adult pig has how many teeth in a full set? (a)24 (b) 34 (c)44 (answer – c)

There are estimated to be how many pigs in the world at the moment? (a)9.6 million (b)96 million (c)960 million (answer – c)

The top speed of a domestic pig is (a)11 miles per hour (b) 13 miles an hour (c)15 miles per hour (answer – a)

The average length of a sow’s pregnancy is (a)103 days (b) 113 days (c) 123 days (answer – b)

Round 5: Happily Ever After?

How did the people react when they saw the man who had been healed? (They were afraid)

What did the people want Jesus to do? (To leave)

What did the man who had been healed want to do? (Go with Jesus)

What did Jesus tell the man to do? (see verse 19)

And verse 19 is really the point of the whole story. When it comes to sharing the good news of Jesus and what He has done in our lives, it’s easy to imagine going off to another place, maybe another country, and meeting people we’ve never met before. But for most of us Jesus wants us to go back to where we have come from, to our families, our friends, our neighbours and simply tell our story. I don’t imagine it could have been easy for this man. I expect that when he was not in his right mind he had hurt many of those close to him, and I am sure that his family were among the villagers who had asked Jesus to leave. But then again, that same power of Jesus we read about in this story isn’t available to us just for the odd miraculous event or healing. He promises His Holy Spirit to strengthen us day by day as we live for Him, and He gives us His body, the church, so we can support and encourage one another right we are, at home, at school, or wherever Jesus tells us to be. And when the going is hard, when we sometimes wonder if it’s even worth carrying on as a Christian, maybe this story should act as an encouragement that we do have good news to share, and that Jesus has power to change lives even today …

Memory Verse – Mark 5:19

Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.


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