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. Mark 5:1-13
My vivid introduction to the spiritual realm happened many years ago while reading the book This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti.The descriptions of things going on and a peek at those demons unveiled this world to me. One night, after reading a while, I put the book aside and tried to sleep. I started having thoughts run through my head I knew weren’t familiar. I started praying scripture, attempting to push those thoughts away. Suddenly, I heard a husky voice in my ear, as if someone had pressed their mouth to it and spoke. The words were “just kidding.” The weird thing? It was the ear against the pillow. I sat bolt upright in bed, waking my wife. It really shook me up. It still does.
‘Legion’ was tormenting this man. I believe they were trying to drive him to his death at his own hand. Iron fetters couldn’t hold him back, and he spent his time howling in torment, running about the graveyard, scraping his skin with stones, perhaps vainly attempting to release his tormentors from his body. That is, until he looked from afar and saw Jesus. In his torment, he ran to Jesus.
During his interaction with Jesus, the demons are doing the howling in torment as Jesus called them out. The Creator-God is standing before them, with the power to utterly eliminate them, physically and spiritually. Jesus allows them to enter the pigs and drive them off the cliff.
What a stark experience! Jesus, confronted with something unimaginable, changed the tormented man into one full of peace and contentment. While ‘Legion’ knew and acknowledged Jesus as divine, the man knew something, too. He saw it. As you go through your day, know Jesus as God personified and run to him. As you experience life’s ups and downs, read and contemplate Psalm 8 and the power of your God over everything.
By Rich Obrecht