Leviticus 9:7-10:20; Mark 4:26-5:20; Psalm 37:30-40; Proverbs 10:6-7
A Frightening Exorcism
In Mark 5:1-20, we learn that the sad plight of the man Jesus and His disciples encountered as they landed their boat on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee was caused by demonic spirits. Jesus correctly perceived that it was the demon who had addressed Him as “Jesus, Son of the Most High God” and not the man himself. In response to Jesus’ question, “What is your name?” he replied “Legion,” a Latin word meaning a troop of six thousand men. The unclean spirits begged to be allowed to enter the bodies of the herd of pigs feeding nearby, and Jesus gave them permission. The presence of pigs indicates that the incident took place in non-Jewish territory, since swine were unclean to Jews and thus were not raised for food.
As the unclean spirits entered the pigs, the herd became wild and rushed down the hill into the sea. The owner of the pigs suffered great loss, but, at the same time, a demon-possessed man was made completely well. This was a trade-off the people of the nearby town were unwilling to accept. When they saw the former demoniac sitting quietly with Jesus, they didn’t rejoice. The presence and power of God terrified them, and they pleaded with Jesus to go away.
Jesus refused the former demoniac’s request to join His band of disciples. Since He could not remain in the region of the Decapolis, a federation of about ten cities in eastern Palestine, He needed the man to be a witness, a missionary to his own people. So the man went forth to tell the wondrous story of his deliverance.
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church
Lake Mary, FL