They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 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. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. 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.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 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.
This is an amazing story of power and strength. On the one hand there is the man who possessed a supernatural strength that enabled him to break chains. And on the other hand there is One who has power over such a man with his words. I cannot imagine the spectacle that the disciples witnessed as this seemingly insane man approached the Lord. Can you sense the desperation in his voice as he speaks to Jesus about being tormented?
The conversation is so engaging as the man speaks and indicates that he is afflicted by many (a legion was comprised of over 5,000 men) demons. I cannot imagine the agony this man was in and the horror of having so much evil in his life. Also interesting how the demons did not leave when first confronted by the Lord. The story is a compelling one and teaches us about the power of evil and the authority of the One who reigns over it.
Help me to not fear the presence of evil today Lord. Remind me of the power of your name.