Introduction: Last week, as part of our study of the “structures” for
witnessing, we looked at where the disciples witnessed – in the
temple, the synagogues and in homes. This week we continue to
explore the “where” and “when” of witnessing. Let’s jump into our
- Personal Witnessing
- Read Mark 5:1-5. How would you like to meet “Tomb Man” in
a dark cemetery? How about in broad daylight?
- How would you like to live in his neighborhood? (If
the cry of a wolf at night sends a chill up your
back, imagine this. He would call out in the night as
well as the day!)
- What kind of appearance do you think he had? (He was
cutting himself (v.5) which would give him a bloody
- Had the homeowners association tried to do something
about this? (Yes! He had been chained, but no chains
could hold him. He had supernatural power.)
- Now here is a serious neighborhood problem!
- Let’s continue by reading Mark 5:6. Do you have the
picture? When Jesus and the disciples land the boat, “Tomb
Man” comes running towards them. Do you think the
disciples had some anxious moments?
- Notice the running towards the disciples ends up with
the man falling to his knees in front of them. Have
you found witnessing to be like this sometimes – at
first the situation seems rather scary, and then it
turns out to be just fine?
- Read Mark 5:7-9. What do you think about “Tomb Man’s”
(Legion’s) first question? Didn’t Legion come running to
Jesus? Jesus did not run him down! (The man did come
running to Jesus. However, verse 8 reveals that Jesus
commanded the evil spirits to come out of the man. That
is apparently what Legion is referring to in his
- Can you find a lesson for witnessing in this? (This
shows that Jesus drew the man to him. The power of
the Holy Spirit can draw unbelievers to us. We need
to pray for that.)
- What would you say if someone came to you with “Swear
you won’t torture me.” Is this like, “Swear you will
stop beating your wife?” The assumption in the
statement is that Jesus is a torturer.
- Do you think Legion really believed this?
- Does the Devil have his minions
- Read Mark 5:10-13. Consider the impact of sin. These
fallen angels from heaven ( Matthew 25:41, Revelation 12:9)
are reduced to torturing a man and wanting to live in
- How much should our witnessing focus on the
demeaning, abasing aspect of evil?
- Did you notice the evil spirits are “homebodies?”
Why? (They must be filled with fear. This is a very
interesting insight into evil angels — they fear
torture, they fear leaving the area and they are
willing to go live in pigs! What a life! Bet they
are glad they rebelled in heaven! Bet that was not
in Satan’s “brochure” for their future.)
- Why did they drown the pigs? (This gives you an idea
of what life would be like if God had left us to
Satan instead of rescuing us -senseless evil.)
- Or is there a sense in this – to discredit
- Read Mark 5:14-17. Jesus cures a serious problem in the
community and they want Him to go. Why?
- Isn’t this an excellent witnessing opportunity for
Jesus? If you were trying to set a foundation for
witnessing, wouldn’t it be this: Believers cure a
serious community problem, then proceed next to
sharing the gospel. Why didn’t it work here? (This
gives another insight into the nature of sin as
opposed to God’s nature. These people valued their
pigs (probably someone else’s pig) more than this
man. God, on the other hand, valued us so much He was
willing to give up His Son!)
- Read Mark 5:18-20. Note that the demons did not want to
leave the area, but this fellow did. Why do you think he
wanted to leave?
- Jesus gives this fellow some instructions on
witnessing that may be helpful to us. First, to whom
does Jesus tell him to witness? (His family. He then
spread out to his town.)
- What do you think his family thought about him
up until this point? How would you like to be
his father or mother?
- Is our first priority for witnessing our own
- Are we the best witnesses to our own
family? If you say, “no,” they know me too
well – what about “Tomb Man’s” background?
- Why would Jesus want this fellow to witness to
his own town when Jesus had just been “tossed
out” of town (v.17)? Why would the message from
this fellow, valued lower than pigs, be more
accepted than a message straight from the mouth
of our Lord?(They were afraid of Jesus. But they
knew this fellow – and were no longer afraid of
- Is there a witnessing lesson in this for
us today? (Our lesson (Sunday) has a very
astute observation. It notes that newly
baptized people normally have unconverted
friends. This tends to change after their
conversion. They develop more friends in
the church. Therefore, one of the best
times for converts to witness is right
after they are converted.)
- This fellow just got cured from demon possession. How
is he qualified to witness? (The extent of our
“theological knowledge” may not be the most important
factor in witnessing. Access may be the most
- What were Jesus’ instructions on what this fellow
should say in his witnessing? (Verse 19: How much God
had done for him and how God had mercy on him.)
- Can you think of a more theologically
appropriate message than this?
- Have you ever used this idea before as a
- Does the content of our witness turn in part on
our qualifications to witness?
- Sabbath School Witnessing
- Most churches have a worship service each week that
consists of a Bible study session (first) and then a
preaching session (second).
- Which session do you think would be more profitable
for witnessing to visitors?
- Turn to a text we looked at last week: Acts 18:4. Is Paul
preaching or is he involved in something that looks more
like Bible study? What do you know about a typical
synagogue service that forms your opinion? (It is typical
in Jewish synagogues to read a portion of the Torah and
have a “sermon” on the reading. This reading is supposed
to be the same in all synagogues and is a progressive
reading through the Torah.)
- Do you think this focus in the synagogues on the
Scripture helped or hurt Paul’s witnessing efforts?
- Let’s read on. Read Acts 18:5-8, 11. Paul says (v.6) that
he is “clear of his responsibility.” What responsibility
- What is the nature of our responsibility?
- Why do you think Paul went “next door?” Was this a
witnessing strategy? (I think so. The people were
used to coming to the synagogue. They could come to
the same area to hear Paul’s preaching.)
- Notice that Paul converted Crispus, the ruler of the
synagogue. Why didn’t he stay in the synagogue if he
had the ear of the man in charge? (We are just
charged with warning/teaching/inviting people. We do
not need to fight about it.)
- What do you think brings visitors to your church? What
motivates them to come? Are people curious to know more
about the Bible? Curious to know more about God?
- What portion of your church service is actually
devoted to Bible study? (We devote the entire Sabbath
school time to Bible study in our church.)
- Do you think you are answering the needs of visitors
to your church?
- Recently, I was visiting in a church during the lesson
study. To my amazement, almost no one had their Bible
open. Most were looking only at their lesson quarterly.
Is this a problem? If so, what is the problem?
- If you have been following these teaching studies, you
know my lessons are driven by the study of specific Bible
texts and thus force the teacher/student to read and study
- How does your class operate?
- Is it driven by the study of the Bible, the study of
the lesson quarterly or by whatever people suggest
are “good ideas?”
- Our lesson suggests (teacher’s comments) that it would be
inspiring to have a time when people tell about witnessing
adventures during the week. Do you agree that this will
inspire others? Does your church give an opportunity for
this kind of sharing?
- Are you inspired to hear stories of successful
- Friend, each of us has a unique opportunity for witnessing
among those that we know. That opportunity, like that of
the “man formerly known as Legion,” may be greater than
the best teacher who ever lived! Everyone has the
opportunity to tell others the mercy that God has shown to
them and to direct them to the word of God. Will you take
advantage of the opportunities set before you?
- Next Week: Errors and Setbacks in Witnessing.