Power over Demons

Power Over Demons (Matthew 8:28-34; Mark 5:1-20; Luke 8:26-39). They landed on the Eastern
shore, in the country of the Gadarenes (Gerasenes). Gerash was a large territory in Perea in which was
located Gerash, one of the cities of Decapolis. When Jesus came out of the boat, two demon-possessed
men met Him. Mark singles out one, the leader. Jesus asked him, “What is your name.” He wanted His
disciples to know that He was dealing, not with one demon only, but with a host of them. “My name is
Legion” the evil spirit replied. A legion is Jesus day was a regiment of about 6,000 soldiers. Legion
suggested great strength and oppression, one of domination to the citizens of Palestine. Obviously, the
man was completely dominated and controlled by the many demons living in him.

As on previous encounters, the demons recognized the Person of Christ, calling Him “Son of the Most
High God.” They recognized His authority as Judge, for they implored Him not to torture them and
entreated Him not to command them to depart into the abyss, the gloomy dungeons for demons (2 Peter
2:4; Rev 9:1-11).

Christ permitted them to enter a herd of swine feeding on the mountain. They totally destroyed their
hosts as demonstrated by the pigs rushing madly and literally one after another down the steep bank into
the sea and being drowned. The fate of the pigs demonstrated the ultimate intention of demons with
respect to the man they had possessed. Demons are emissaries of Satan, the Destroyer, and they are bent
on destruction.

Jesus used the healing of the demoniacs as a challenge to faith for the Gentiles in this area. But they were
terrified! These Gentiles were not angry, resentful, but terrified of the power of Jesus, like the disciples
on the boat when they saw the wind and waves stilled. Countless numbers saw Jesus’ miracles, but did
not believe. The people asked Jesus to leave and He did. He does not stay where He is not wanted. Jesus
thrusts Himself on one! He leaves at once. These people were hard soil. In absolute contrast, the
healed-man obeyed his Mighty Deliver. He is good soil.

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