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Mark 5:3

ESV He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain,
NIV This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain.
NASB He lived among the tombs; and no one was able to bind him anymore, not even with a chain,
CSB He lived in the tombs, and no one was able to restrain him anymore--not even with a chain--
NLT This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain.
KJV Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains:

What does Mark 5:3 mean?

Jesus and the disciples have escaped the crowds on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee and landed their boat on the southeast area of modern-day Golan Heights. Immediately, they are met by a naked man possessed by a "legion" of demons. If Matthew 8:28 records the same event, then there were actually two men present at this incident. The tombs this man lives in are sepulchers: caves, either natural or manmade, carved out of the rocky hills in which the dead are kept until the flesh has rotted away. Sometimes the poorest of the poor lived in sepulchers like these.

The man was known to the residents living in the nearby town of Gergesa who had tried to bind him and keep him under guard (Luke 8:29). The word "bind" is from the Greek root word deo and means to tie someone up. It also means to be controlled by an evil spirit or to be obligated to a law or duty. Although the people could not bind the demon-possessed man, Jesus will soon bind the demons to His authority.

This is something we need to be mindful of. When someone is controlled by sin—whether by demons or through their own choices—we cannot bind them, spiritually speaking. That is, we cannot control them and force them to be free from evil. Though it's fine to try to restrain them from physical harm, we are often not capable of keeping them from harming themselves (Mark 5:5) or others. We can't even free ourselves, as Paul expressed in Romans 7:14–20. Although we may be able to temporarily change our behavior, only Jesus can free us from the power of sin.
What is the Gospel?
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