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Table of Contents

The Event

They 1came to the other side of the sea, into the region of the Gerasenes. When He got out of the boat, immediately a man from the tombs with an unclean spirit met Him. He lived among the tombs; and no one was able to bind him anymore, not even with a chain, because he had often been bound with shackles and chains, and the chains had been torn apart by him and the shackles broken in pieces; and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Constantly, night and day, he was 2screaming among the tombs and in the mountains, and cutting himself with stones. Seeing Jesus from a distance, he ran up and bowed down before Him; and shouting with a loud voice, he said, “What business do You have with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore You by God, do not torment me!” For He had already been 3saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And He was asking him, “What is your name?” And he said to Him, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And he begged Him earnestly not to send them out of the 4region. Now there was a large herd of pigs feeding nearby on the mountain. And the demons begged Him, saying, “Send us into the pigs so that we may 5enter them.” Jesus gave them permission. And coming out, the unclean spirits entered the pigs; and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea, about two thousand of them; and they were drowned in the sea. 

Their herdsmen ran away and reported it in the city and in the countryside. And the people came to see what it was that had happened. And then they came to Jesus and saw the man who had been demon-possessed sitting down, clothed and in his right mind, the very man who had previously had the “legion”; and they became frightened. Those who had seen it described to them how it had happened to the demon-possessed man, and all about the pigs. And they began to beg Him to leave their 6region. And as He was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed was begging Him that he might accompany Him. And He did not let him, but He said to him, “Go home to your people and 7report to them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to 8proclaim in 9Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed. Mark 5:1-20 NASB


1In the chapter preceding this event (Mark 4), it says

  • He began to teach by the sea. And such a very large crowd gathered to Him that He got into a boat on the sea and sat down; and the whole crowd was by the sea on the land. Mark 4:1 NASB
One could literally say that Jesus left the large crowd so that one (man possessed with the evil spirits) could be saved. Likewise Jesus left the comforts of heaven and endured sufferings and death so that you (singular) could be saved. Read: SALVATION
2Evil spirits torment. See also
  • Now the Spirit of the Lord left Saul, and an evil spirit from the Lord terrified him. Saul’s servants then said to him, “Behold now, an evil spirit from God is terrifying you. May our lord now command your servants who are before you. Have them search for a man who is a skillful musician on the harp; and it shall come about whenever the evil spirit from God is upon you, that he shall play the harp with his hand, and you will become well.”… So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would feel relieved and become well, and the evil spirit would leave him. 1 Samuel 16:14-16,23 NASB
 The comfort is that if evil sprits afflict a person, they can be made to leave through praise/worship/prayer etc. Read: How to drive out evil spirits
3“Been Saying” – Sometimes (more often than not) it takes more than one time to get an evil spirit out. See also 
  • When they arrived at Bethsaida, some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. So He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village. Then He spit on the man’s eyes and placed His hands on him. “Can you see anything?” He asked. The man looked up and said, “I can see the people, but they look like trees walking around.” Once again Jesus placed His hands on the man’s eyes, and when he opened them his sight was restored, and he could see everything clearly. Jesus sent him home and said, “Do not go back into the village.” Mark 8:22-25 BSB

4Evil spirits may be localised to an area. See also

  • the prince of the kingdom of Persia was standing in opposition to me for twenty-one days. Daniel 10:13 AMP
  • Now I shall return to fight against the [hostile] prince of Persia; and when I have gone, behold, the prince of Greece is about to come. Daniel 10:20 AMP

5Evil spirits prefer to dwell in humans (or living beings, for that matter pigs in this case). See also

  • “Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So will it also be with this wicked generation.” Matthew 12:43-45 AMP
6Having Christ in our lives might cost. In this instance they begged Him to leave the region not wanting  to suffer more loss (2000 pigs). See contrasting response of Samaritans
  • Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in Jesus because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.” So when the Samaritans came to Him, they asked Him to stay with them, and He stayed two days. John 4:3-40 BSB
7One of our responsibilities after being saved is to show others the path to salvation. See
  • aRescue those being led away to death, and restrain those stumbling toward the slaughter. If you say, “Behold, we did not know about this,” does not He who weighs hearts consider it? Does not the One who guards your life know? Will He not repay a man according to his deeds? Pro 24:11 BSB

aStrongs: Deliver 5337 נצל [nâtsal] \naw-tsal’\
A primitive root; to snatch {away} whether in a good or a bad sense: – X at {all} {defend} deliver ({self}) {escape} X without {fail} {part} {pluck} {preserve} {recover} {rescue} {rid} {save} {spoil} {strip} X {surely} take (out).


9The next mention of the Decapolis is in Mark 7:31. The place had been primed (by his sharing his 8testimony) by the man from whom the evil spirits had been cast out. See 

  • Then Jesus left the region of Tyre and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis. Mark 7:31 BSB

And now see the fruit

  • In those days the crowd once again became very large, and they had nothing to eat. Mark 8:1 BSB