51 Jesus delivers a man who was possessed by many evil spirits.

Matthew 8:28–34; Mark 5:1–20; Luke 8:26–39

One writer says two men with evil spirits met Jesus (Matthew 8:28). Why might the two other gospel writers have mentioned only one (Mark 5:2; Luke 8:27)?

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Why did one man cut himself with stones and cry out from the hills (Mark 3:5)?

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If one man was so controlled by evil spirits that he had supernatural strength, so fierce and violent that chains would not hold him, what prompted him to have any contact with Jesus (Mark 5:3–6)?

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Why did the man run to Jesus and kneel before him (Mark 5:7–8)?

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If Jesus had commanded the spirit to come out, even before the man fell at Jesus’ feet, why had it not already obeyed (Mark 5:8; Luke 8:29)?

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The man was tormented by evil spirits. Why did he cry to Jesus not to torment him (Mark 5:7)?

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Why did Jesus ask the man’s name (Mark 5:9)?

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What might the disciples have been thinking as they watched Jesus speaking with the man (Mark 5:9)?

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What is the significance of the evil spirits identifying themselves by the name Legion (Mark 5:9)?

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How many evil spirits do you think there were (Mark 5:9)?

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If the spirits saw that they were being forced to leave, why did they want to be sent into the herd of pigs (Mark 5:10–12)?

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Why might Jesus have consented to the spirits entering the pigs (Mark 5:13)?

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What drove the pigs to their death (Mark 5:13)?

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Why were people more concerned for their pigs than for the man who had been delivered (Mark 5:14)?

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When the people in town rushed to the scene, what did they see (Mark 5:14–15)?

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What kind of story might the eyewitnesses have told those who came to the scene (Mark 5:14, 16)?

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What motivated the people to beg Jesus to leave (Mark 5:15–17)?

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What reasons did the delivered man have in begging to follow Jesus (Mark 5:18)?

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Why did Jesus reject the man’s request to follow him (Mark 5:19)?

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To interest strangers, how would the delivered man need to present his story?

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What effect did Jesus’ deliverance of just one man have upon the entire community (Mark 5:20)?

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After crossing the lake, Jesus and the disciples came to the region of the Gadarenes, near Galilee. As Jesus climbed out of the boat, two men possessed by evil spirits met him. They lived among the tombs and were so fierce that no man dared pass their way.

Eyewitness

Matthew 8:28 After crossing the lake, Jesus came to the region of the Gadarenes, where two men possessed by evil spirits met him. They lived among the tombs and were so fierce that no man dared pass their way.
Mark 5:1–2 After crossing the lake, Jesus and the disciples came to the region of the Gadarenes. As Jesus climbed out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit ran from the tombs to meet him.
Luke 8:26–27 After crossing the lake, Jesus and the disciples came to the region of the Gadarenes, near Galilee. As Jesus climbed out of the boat, he was met by a man from town who was possessed by evil spirits. For a long time, the man had been homeless and naked, living among the tombs.
King James

Matthew 8:28 And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.
Mark 5:1–2 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit,
Luke 8:26–27 And they arrived at the country of the Gadarenes, which is over against Galilee. And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs.

For a long time, one of the men had been homeless and naked. He was so violent, no one could restrain him, not even with chains. Night and day, he cut himself with stones and cried out from the tombs in the hills. Frequently, people bound him with shackles and chains, but he always broke free and ran into the wilderness, under the evil spirit’s control. From a distance, he saw Jesus, ran to him, and kneeled down.

Eyewitness

Mark 5:3–6 The man lived among the tombs and was so fierce and violent no one could restrain him, not even with chains. Frequently, people bound him with shackles and chains, but he always broke free. No one could control him. Night and day, he cut himself with stones and cried out from the tombs in the hills. From a distance, he saw Jesus, ran to him, and kneeled down.
Luke 8:27–29 As Jesus climbed out of the boat, he was met by a man from town who was possessed by evil spirits. For a long time, the man had been homeless and naked, living among the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he screamed and kneeled before him. “What do you want with me,” he screamed, “Jesus, Son of God? I beg you, do not torment me!” Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times, the spirit had grabbed hold of the man. He had been bound with shackles and chains, but he always broke free and ran into the wilderness, under the evil spirit’s control.
King James

Mark 5:3–6 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones. But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,
Luke 8:27–29 And when he went forth to land, there met him out of the city a certain man, which had devils long time, and ware no clothes, neither abode in any house, but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not. (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

Jesus commanded the evil spirit to come out.

Eyewitness

Mark 5:8 Jesus had already commanded the spirit to come out of the man.
Luke 8:29 Jesus had already commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times, the spirit had grabbed hold of the man. He had been bound with shackles and chains, but he always broke free and ran into the wilderness, under the evil spirit’s control.
King James

Mark 5:8 For he said unto him, Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.
Luke 8:29 (For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. For oftentimes it had caught him: and he was kept bound with chains and in fetters; and he brake the bands, and was driven of the devil into the wilderness.)

“What do you want with me?” the man screamed. “Jesus, son of the Most High God, I implore you by God, do not torment me.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 8:29 “What do you want with us?” they screamed. “Jesus, Son of God, have you come to torment us before the appointed time?”
Mark 5:7 “What do you want with me,” he screamed. “Jesus, son of the Most High God, I implore you by God, do not torment me.”
Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he screamed and kneeled before him. “What do you want with me?” he screamed. “Jesus, Son of God, I beg you, do not torment me.”
King James

Matthew 8:29 And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?
Mark 5:7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not.
Luke 8:28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out, and fell down before him, and with a loud voice said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high? I beseech thee, torment me not.

“What is your name?”

Eyewitness

Mark 5:9 “What is your name?” Jesus said. The man said, “My name is Legion, because there are so many of us.”
Luke 8:30 “What is your name?” Jesus said. The man said, “My name is Legion, because there are so many of us.”
King James

Mark 5:9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

The man said, “My name is Legion, because there are so many of us.”

Eyewitness

Mark 5:9 “What is your name?” Jesus said. The man said, “My name is Legion, because there are so many of us.”
Luke 8:30 “What is your name?” Jesus said. The man said, “My name is Legion, because there are so many of us.”
King James

Mark 5:9 And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many.
Luke 8:30 And Jesus asked him, saying, What is thy name? And he said, Legion: because many devils were entered into him.

The spirits kept begging Jesus not to send them to the bottomless pit. In the distance, a large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. “If you force us out,” the spirits said, “send us to the pigs so we may enter them.”

Eyewitness

Matthew 8:30–31 In the distance, a large herd of pigs was feeding. “If you force us out,” the spirits said, “send us into the herd of pigs.”
Mark 5:10–12 The evil spirits kept begging Jesus not to send them out of the region. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The spirits said, “Send us to the pigs so we may enter them.”
Luke 8:31–32 The spirits kept begging Jesus not to send them to the bottomless pit. A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The spirits said, “Send us to the pigs that we may enter them.” And Jesus said, “Go!”
King James

Matthew 8:30–31 And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding. So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.
Mark 5:10–12 And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country. Now there was there nigh unto the mountains a great herd of swine feeding. And all the devils besought him, saying, Send us into the swine, that we may enter into them.
Luke 8:31–32 And they besought him that he would not command them to go out into the deep. And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.

“Go!” Jesus said. So the evil spirits came out of the men and went into the pigs. Suddenly, the whole herd stampeded down the steep bank, plunged into the water, and drowned.

Eyewitness

Matthew 8:32 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The spirits begged, “Send us to the pigs that we may enter them.” And Jesus said, “Go!”
Mark 5:13 After Jesus gave them permission, they came out of the man and entered the pigs. Suddenly, the whole herd of about two thousand stampeded down the steep bank, plunged into the water, and drowned.
Luke 8:32–33 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the hillside. The spirits begged, “Send us to the pigs that we may enter them.” And Jesus said, “Go!” They came out of the man and entered the pigs. Suddenly, the whole herd stampeded down the steep bank, plunged into the water, and drowned.
King James

Matthew 8:32 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them.
Mark 5:13 And forthwith Jesus gave them leave. And the unclean spirits went out, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the sea, (they were about two thousand;) and were choked in the sea.
Luke 8:32–33 And there was there an herd of many swine feeding on the mountain: and they besought him that he would suffer them to enter into them. And he suffered them. Then went the devils out of the man, and entered into the swine: and the herd ran violently down a steep place into the lake, and were choked.

The herdsmen ran into the town and countryside and told what had happened, how the man had been delivered and the pigs were lost.

Eyewitness

Matthew 8:33 The herdsmen ran into the town and told what had happened, how the men had been delivered and the pigs were lost.
Mark 5:14 The herdsmen ran into the town and told what had happened, how the man had been delivered and the pigs were lost. The townspeople rushed out to see for themselves.
Luke 8:34 The herdsmen ran into town and countryside and told what had happened, how the man had been delivered and the pigs were lost.
King James

Matthew 8:33 And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.
Mark 5:14 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done.
Luke 8:34 When they that fed them saw what was done, they fled, and went and told it in the city and in the country.

So all the townspeople rushed to see for themselves. When they saw the man who had been possessed, sitting at Jesus’ feet, clothed and in his right mind, they were frightened. All the eyewitnesses repeated what they had seen happen to the man and the pigs. The whole crowd of Gadarenes begged Jesus to leave their country because they were overcome with fear.

Eyewitness

Matthew 8:34 So all the townspeople went to see Jesus and begged him to leave their country.
Mark 5:14–17 The herdsmen ran into the town and told what had happened, how the man had been delivered and the pigs were lost. The townspeople rushed to see for themselves. When they saw the man who had been possessed, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, they were frightened. All the eyewitnesses repeated what they had seen happen to the man and the pigs. The townspeople begged Jesus to leave their country.
Luke 8:37 The whole crowd of Gadarenes begged Jesus to leave their country because they were overcome with fear. So Jesus returned to his boat.
King James

Matthew 8:34 And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.
Mark 5:14–17 And they that fed the swine fled, and told it in the city, and in the country. And they went out to see what it was that was done. And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.
Luke 8:37 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again.

As Jesus returned to the boat, the man who had been possessed begged to go along.

Eyewitness

Mark 5:18 As Jesus returned to the boat, the man begged to go along.
Luke 8:37–38 The whole crowd of Gadarenes begged Jesus to leave their country because they were overcome with fear. So Jesus returned to his boat. The man who had been possessed begged to go along, but Jesus said, “No.
King James

Mark 5:18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him.
Luke 8:37–38 Then the whole multitude of the country of the Gadarenes round about besought him to depart from them; for they were taken with great fear: and he went up into the ship, and returned back again. Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying,

“No,” Jesus said. “Go home to your people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, how you received mercy.”

Eyewitness

Mark 5:19 “No,” Jesus said. “Go home to your people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, how you received mercy.”
Luke 8:38–39 The man who had been possessed begged to go along, but Jesus said, “No. Go home to your people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.” So the man left and spread the word throughout the region, telling what Jesus had done. Everyone was amazed.
King James

Mark 5:19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.
Luke 8:38–39 Now the man out of whom the devils were departed besought him that he might be with him: but Jesus sent him away, saying, Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.

So the man left and spread the word in the ten cities of the region, telling what Jesus had done. Everyone was amazed.

Eyewitness

Mark 5:20 So the man left and spread the word in the ten cities of the region, telling what Jesus had done. Everyone was amazed.
Luke 8:39 “Go home to your people and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you.” So the man left and spread the word throughout the region, telling what Jesus had done. Everyone was amazed.
King James

Mark 5:20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Luke 8:39 Return to thine own house, and shew how great things God hath done unto thee. And he went his way, and published throughout the whole city how great things Jesus had done unto him.