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LEGION



 

We don’t know the name given to him at birth, but he was called Legion because he was possessed by a legion of demons. A Roman legion, the largest group of soldiers in Rome’s powerful military included six thousand soldiers. Is it possible that one man could be possessed by so many evil spirits? I don’t know, but it took two thousand pigs to carry away the dispossessed spirits (Mark 5:13).

 

When Jesus was first introduced to Legion, he was naked, living in a graveyard on the northeastern shores of Galilee. Satan had granted Legion superhuman strength so that “no one was able to restrain him anymore—not even with a chain”(Mark 5:3-4).

 

Satan came to “steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10), and like “roaring lion” (1 Peter 5:8), the Devil was devouring his prey. So Legion, “night and day among the tombs and on the mountains … was always crying out and cutting himself with stones” (Mark 5:5).

 

When the lost and lonely man “saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and knelt down before him. And he (or the demonic presence) cried out with a loud voice, ‘What do you have to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?’ ” (Mark 5:6-7). The evil spirits recognized Jesus… they know “and tremble!” (James 2:19). 

 

With an authoritative word, Jesus set the man free from the evil spirits, and as Jesus “was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged him earnestly that he might remain with him. Jesus did not let him but told him, ‘Go home to your own people, and report to them how much the Lord has done for you and how he has had mercy on you.’ So he went out and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him” (Mark 5:18-20).

 

What’s the rest of the story?

 

Sometime later, Jesus traveled to the Decapolis… the ten mostly-Gentile cities southeast of the Sea of Galilee. There, Jesus found multitudes who were eager to hear His message. On one occasion, four thousand men and their families stayed with Jesus for three days (Mark 8:2), listening to His teaching. When they ran out of food, Jesus fed them (Matthew 15:32-39, Mark 8:1-10).

 

Why were these Gentile people anxious to hear a Jewish Rabbi’s message? Might we give some credit to the man who met Jesus in the graveyard, the man whose life was miraculously transformed by grace, a man who was once called Legion?

 

Someday we’ll know the rest of the story!

 

“… think on these things” (Philippians 4:8, KJV).




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