10 The Demons of Gadarene
Matthew 8:28-34 (NIV)
28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs' met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way. 29 "What do you want with us, Son of God?" they shouted. "Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?" 30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. 31 The demons begged Jesus, "If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs." 32 He said to them, "Go!" So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water. 33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.
Mark 5:1-20 (NIV)
1 They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes. 2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him. 3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain. 4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him. 5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones, 6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. 7 He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you won't torture me!" 8 For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you evil spirit!" 9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many." 10 And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area. 11 A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside. 12 The demons begged Jesus, "Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them." 13 He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs. The herd about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. Those tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, and the people went out to see what had happened. 15 When they came to Jesus, they saw the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons, sitting there, dressed and in his fight mind; and they were afraid. 16 Those who had seen it told the people what had happened to the demon-possessed man - and told about the pigs as well. 17 Then the people began to plead with Jesus to leave their region. 18 As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed begged to go with him. 19 Jesus did not let him, but said, "Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you." 20 So the man went away and began to tell in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him. And all the people were amazed.
Luke 8:26-39 (NIV)
26 They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon- possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don't torture me!" 29 For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. 30 Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "Legion," he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged him repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into them, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. 34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon- possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left. 38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 "Return home and tell how much God has done for you." So the man went away and told all over the town how much Jesus had done for him.
1. Identify as completely as possible the person in need (e.g., age, ethnic origin, religion, gender, social status).
2. What was the immediate, obvious need?
3. Who took the initiative in effecting the healing?
The person in need?
Others? ~. Jesus? ~.
How was it expressed?
4. Describe the actions or process leading to the healing; that is, what was said (e.g., questions, requests, commands) and what was done (e.g., approaching, following, touching, publicly/privately), and by whom?
5. Did the person in need or someone else verbally express faith? ~. Non-verbally? ~ Describe how and by whom faith was involved in this healing.
6. What were the evidences that the person was healed?
7. What were the reactions to the healing?
8. What in this narrative led Jesus to minister healing to the person in need?
1. Where did this healing take place? What is the connection, if any, between the man and the location?
2. What do the evil spirits mean when they beg Jesus not to torture them ("before the appointed time" in Matthew) if and when they came out of the man? Were they concerned about being sent away, or ordered into the Abyss (Abaddon in Greek means Destruction)? Why did they request being sent into the pigs?
3. Do evil spirits have to have a place to reside, an address? Can you recall other passages that imply they do? What instructions does Scripture provide about casting out, and being protected from evil spirits?
4. Matthew and Luke use the term "demon-possessed." How would we describe a real, but lesser demonic presence?
5. In this account, the demon(s)' name is "Legion." Name some other evil spirits inhabiting, although not necessarily "possessing" modern man.
6. What comments or instructions did Jesus express after the healing?
7. Compare the reaction of the Gadarenes with responses to the Gospel in our society today.
8. What lesson(s) have you learned about healing from this account?