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.
The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. Mark 5:1-14
The subject of demons and the supernatural is fascinating in Biblical doctrine. So much so that some people take demonology to the extreme, believing every ailment and problem in life is caused by the Devil and his angels. On the other side are those who ignore or refuse to recognize any type of spiritual influence in our day to day lives. But the Bible does in fact talk quite a bit about demons and the supernatural, and Jesus had many occasions confronting those possessed by demons.
There isn’t a whole lot of information about the origin or purpose of demons in scripture, probably because what we need to know, God tells us. Although we can assume about many different attributes of the demonic, it’s best to focus on what scripture teaches without making assumptions.
8 Things Mark 5 Teaches About Demons
- Demons are like ticks, they desire a host. “Send us into the pigs”.
- Demons seem to have regional assignments. “And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country”.
- Demons exist to torment and destroy God’s creation.
- Demons can cause people to harm themselves.
- Demons can give people incredible physical strength.
- Demons can speak through people.
- Demons have great theology. “What have you to do with me Jesus, son of the most high God?”
- Demons can do nothing without God’s permission.
Do we believe that demons are prevalent in every aspect of life? Of course not but we must take into consideration the spiritual things going on around us. Jesus spent a good amount of time making the unclean things clean and that included casting demons out of people who were oppressed or possessed.
Many will say that the accounts of possession in the Bible were misunderstood mental health conditions. That assumes Jesus wasn’t aware of the mental health problems found in people, and completely overlooks the conversation Jesus had with the demon who spoke for the legion found within the man.
For more resources:
Sermon from Mark on June 5th – Pastor Jon Needham (Coram Deo Church)