Mark 5:1-20 1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!” 8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.” 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.
11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.” 13 He gave them permission, and the impure spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.
14 Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man—and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region.
18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, “Go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 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.
Jesus and His disciples were now on the other side of the lake. This was a Gentile region where the people wouldn’t have heard about Him and the miracles He was doing yet. Jesus was beginning to extend the Gospel beyond the Jews.
The demon possessed man was violent and very strong. A legion is a Roman garrison of 6000 soldiers so the reference here shows how vast and strong in number the demons inside this man were. Human effort would be no match for them.
The man ran to Jesus as He came ashore. He needed to be rescued! We ALL need to be rescued!
Ephesians 2:1-3 1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, 2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. 3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
All non-believers are given over to the flesh and controlled by Satan.
The demons actually showed honor to Jesus here. When He showed up they began to be tormented. They ran to Him and bowed down. They confessed who He was. (They knew!) They responded obediently when He asked them their name. And they begged Him for grace.
The Demons are forced to act this way by His presence, His sheer power and because they really know who He is. We bow down, confess who He is, respond obediently and beg for grace because we love Him.
Sometimes people ask why Jesus said yes to the demons and sent them into the herd of pigs. It was because it would show the people who was in control and therefore honor Him the most. In doing this, He cleansed the man from the demons, He cast out the powerful legion with one word commanded and showed how powerful the demons were because they got 2000 pigs to react in a split second. He performed this miracle so they would make no mistake who He was!
The townspeople were very afraid and asked Him to leave. He said yes to this request also. The request He didn’t say yes to was from the man who wanted to go with Him. Jesus told him to stay and tell his story to his own people.
In His mercy, Christ left a missionary to the people who rejected Him. This also tells us not to be discouraged by His “no” answer. If He says no it’s because His plan is better: for His glory and for our good. He has all the pieces of the puzzle. And it commands us to tell our own story. We all have a testimony. We need to share with others how God has had mercy on us.
Psalm 107:2 Let the redeemed of the LORD tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe.