The Demon Possessed Man at Gerasa

The legend is told of the time Satan and his demons were having a Christmas party. As the demonic guests were preparing to depart, one grinned and said, “Merry Christmas, your majesty!” At that, Satan replied with a growl, “Keep it merry my friend. If they ever get … More

Demon Possession

Jesus and His disciples had just crossed over the Sea of Galilee and came to shore near the town of Gerasa (v. 1). The Sea of Galilee is 13 miles long at its longest part and 8 miles wide at its widest part. At this particular point in the shoreline, there were many caves in the limestone rock and these were used as tombs for the dead. As soon as Jesus and His disciples stepped on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee they were confronted with the bloodcurdling shrieks of a wild eyed, irrational demon possessed man who had been living in the graveyard (v. 2). He had been sleeping among the cave-like tombs where dead bodies were buried. No one was able to control him, not even with a chain (v. 3). He had been put in chains, but he broke the chains and smashed the leg irons (v. 4).

Night and day he was in the graveyard or on the hills, yelling and cutting himself with the stones (v. 5). When the man saw Jesus in the distance, he ran up to him and knelt down (v. 6). He shouted to the Son of God wanting to know what He was going to do with him (v. 7)? He asked Jesus to promise to him in God’s name that he wouldn’t torture him (v. 8). The man said this because Jesus had already told the evil spirit to come out of him. He had asked the man, “What is your name” (v. 9)? He replied, “My name is Legion because I have lots of evil spirits in me.” (A legion was the largest unit in the Roman army consisting of 3,000 to 6,000 soldiers.) He then begged Jesus not to send the spirits away (v. 10).

Although we can not be sure why demon-possession occurs we know that evil spirits can use the human body to distort and destroy man’s relationship with God. Even today demons are dangerous, powerful and destructive. We should avoid any curiosity about or involvement with demonic forces or the occult (Deut. 18:10-12). If we resist the Devil and his influences, he will flee from us (James 4:7).


When this demon possessed man was transformed by Jesus power he shared the news with those around him. I need to be busy telling others about Jesus transforming power.

Mark 5:1-10 (English Standard Version)

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