Jesus casts demons into a herd of pigs

The miracles Jesus

March 4, 2021

Jesus casts demons into a herd of pigs

Mark 5:1-20

I guess my brain works a little differently than most. Whenever I read the story of Jesus casting out demons into a herd of pigs, I think of the 1950s movie, “Beginning of the End.”

The movie was released in 1957. At the time, I was six years old and living in Chicago. “Beginning of the End” is what we used to call a B-class movie. It was made on a meager budget, you didn’t know many of the actors, the acting was horrible, and many of those movies were sci-fi in nature.

“Beginning of the End” was no different. It was the story of giant locusts (made gigantic by all the nuclear testing done back then) that invaded Chicago. People died, people got eaten, and someone figured out how to destroy them. Scientists put sound equipment on boats and Lake Michigan that attracted the locusts. The locust followed the sound, went into the lake, and drowned—the End.

In Mark’s Gospel, we see a “Legion” of demons enter into 2000 pigs. They run over a cliff into the lake and drown.

So, they arrived at the other side of the lake, in the region of the Gerasenes. When Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs to meet him. This man lived in the burial caves and could no longer be restrained, even with a chain. Whenever he was put into chains and shackles—as he often was—he snapped the chains from his wrists and smashed the shackles. No one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night, he wandered among the burial caves and in the hills, howling and cutting himself with sharp stones.

When Jesus was still some distance away, the man saw him, ran to meet him, and bowed low before him. With a shriek, he screamed, “Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had already said to the spirit, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

Then Jesus demanded, “What is your name?”

And he replied, “My name is Legion because there are many of us inside this man.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them to some distant place.

There happened to be a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby. “Send us into those pigs,” the spirits begged. “Let us enter them.”

So, Jesus gave them permission. The evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the entire herd of about 2,000 pigs plunged down the steep hillside into the lake and drowned in the water.

The herdsmen fled to the nearby town and the surrounding countryside, spreading the news as they ran. People rushed out to see what had happened. A crowd soon gathered around Jesus, and they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons. He was sitting there fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were all afraid. Then those who had seen what happened told the others about the demon-possessed man and the pigs. And the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away and leave them alone.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. But Jesus said, “No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been.” So, the man started off to visit the Ten Towns  of that region and began to proclaim the great things Jesus had done for him; and everyone was amazed at what he told them.”

(A lot is going on in the passage you just read. As this is a devotion and not a Bible study, I would encourage you to read up on this miracle passage in a Bible commentary. You’ll get a much deeper understanding of the nuances of these verses.)

Let’s look at a few things in these verses:

  1. Jesus didn’t approach the demon-possessed man; he approached Jesus.

We should approach Jesus regularly with praise, penitent hearts, asking for our needs, and yielding to His will. We should always follow the direction and path He wants us to in life.

  • The man was demon-possessed, not by one, but by many.

We are not all demon-possessed, but the devil is continually working on our minds and hearts to follow the world and not Christ.

  • Jesus healed this tortured man by ordering the demons out of him.

When we turn to Jesus in prayer, He is there for us. We all have problems. Some are small, while some difficulties torture us for long periods. Turn to Jesus, as Him for help and healing.

  •  The cleansed man wanted to come with Jesus, but He told him no. He wanted the man to stay in the ten cities and be a witness.

We are Christ’s witnesses to the world:

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere-in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8

Here are a couple of questions for you to ponder:

  1. Why were there so many demons in one man?
  2. When the demons entered the pigs, and the pigs drowned in the lake, did they die too?

Lord Jesus, you are the great healer. You can heal our bodies, our minds, and our souls. Help us to be strong and fend off the attacks of Satan that make us weak. Thank you for being with us always. Amen

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