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Jesus Heals a Man with a Demon

Mark 5:6-7

And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.”

Full bible text

Markus 5:1-20
‘They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart, and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 7 And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea. 14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled’.

About this painting

After showing His power in calming the storm while crossing the Sea of Galilee, Jesus comes ashore with His disciples in the ‘land of the Gadarenes’ (or: Decapolis, the region of ten cities that made a covenant with each other).
It is believed to be near Gergesa (now Kursi), on the eastern shore of the lake. Jews shunned this heathen area as unclean.
When Jesus has left the ship, a man who is possessed by ’unclean spirits’ comes towards Him. The man’s thinking and behaviour are determined by the demons; he has no control over himself. He dwells in the tombs on the mountain slope. Such a burial cave is unclean for Jews because of the presence of dead bodies.
The spirits make him beat himself with stones, and no man is able to subdue him, because of the supernatural powers that possess him.
The man falls at Jesus’ feet.
The unclean spirits appear to know that Jesus is the Son of God and fear that He has come to torment them ‘before the time’. Apparently it is known to them that their ultimate destiny is: the Lake of Fire. Rev. 20:10.
The spirits call themselves Legion. A Roman legion consisted of about 6.000 soldiers.
Jesus commands them to get out of the man and allows them to get into a herd of pigs being herded on a nearby mountainside. For Jews pigs are unclean animals. The raising of pigs indicates the pagan culture of the area.
When the ghosts go into the pigs, they run down the steep slope and plunge into the lake, where they drown.
The man who is freed from demons now appears to be sane again, and asks Jesus if He allows him to go with Him. However, Jesus instructs him to remain in the area to testify to his neighbours about Him Who delivered him from the power of the devil, and how He had compassion on him. The man obeys and begins to proclaim throughout the Decapolis area what Jesus has done for him.
This story shows that Jesus’ power to deliver people from the power of Satan, and to establish His Kingdom where the devil once ruled.

1 John 3:8b ‘The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil’.

Matt. 12:28 ‘ But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you’.

John 12:31 ‘Now is the judgement of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out’.

John 8:36 ‘ So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed’.

In the first book of the Bible, Genesis 3:15, it is prophesied that ‘the offspring of the woman’ (Jesus) will crush the head of the serpent (the devil).
By His sacrifice on the cross on Calvary, Jesus has conquered the devil.

Col. 2:15 ‘ He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him’.

The final book of Revelation describes the final destruction of the devil:

Rev. 20:10 ‘and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulphur where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever’.



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