Mark 5:1-20


Open your Bibles to Mark 5:1-20


  • Here we are…
  • Before we jump in too far, let address what some call an issue.
      • Matthew, Mark, and Luke all share this in the Gospels.
      • Mark and Luke speak only of what appears to be one demon possessed man.
      • Matthew speaks of two demon possessed men.
      • This is not however a contradiction in the Gospels or the Bible.
          • Matthew says two men and Mark and Luke say “a” man
          • The Gospel of Mark is really an account of Peter who told Mark what to write down.
          • Luke was likely not an eyewitness to Jesus and wrote down what Paul told him.
          • Matthew was there, an eyewittness so likely there were two demon possessed men.
          • If you read the account in Matthew 8:28-34 you’ll see that the two demon possessed men both spoke and said the same things (almost like in unison).
          • It’s possible that through the retelling of the story and it being written down in Mark and Luke only a demon was mentioned because it was like Jesus was speaking to one.
          • Or Mark and Luke are only telling of one of the two men for some reason, however enough of the story aligns that it is not considered a contradiction by the majority of scholars.


They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of the Gerasenes. 2 And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. 3 He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, 4 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. 5 Night and day among the tombs and on the mountains he was always crying out and cutting himself with stones. He and the disciples set out to cross the sea and was met with a massive storm.

  • Jesus calmed the seas and the wind with just His words.
  • As soon as Jesus and the disciples arrive on shore they are met by this demon possessed man.
  • The demon possessed man (unclean spirit)
      • Lived in and among the tombs.
      • He could not be bound, not even with chains because he could break them.
      • This proves this demon possessed man was extremely strong.
      • No one could control or subdue this man.
      • All day and all night he is crying out, screaming, moaning.
      • He is cutting himself (self harm).
      • Nothing about this man is ok.
      • Luke tells us he’s running around naked.


6 And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. 

  • Philippians 2:10-11 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”






7 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.” 8 For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” 

  • Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
  • The demons recognize Jesus as the Son of God.
  • Adjure you - means request. The demon is making a request of Jesus.
      • No one else was able to do anything with these demons. The demons were too strong.
      • Chain could not bind them.
      • Yet the demons are asking Jesus, making a request to Jesus.
  • Jesus was saying upon the demon approaching, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!”
      • We’re going to talk about who this demon possessed man was more in a moment.


9 And Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” 

  • Angels have names, even demons have names. The Lord knows all by name.
  • “My name is Legion, for we are many.”
      • Legion is a reference to a military unit.
      • Roman legions could be as many as 5,000 men or more.
      • It was not uncommon for a person to have multiple demons possessing them.
      • Matthew 12:43-45 Jesus speaks of this, “43 “When the unclean spirit has gone out of a person, it passes through waterless places seeking rest, but finds none. 44 Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. 45 Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first. So also will it be with this evil generation.”
      • Get this, Jesus faced this legion (army) alone.
          • Even though the demons amounted to a legion they knew they were no match for who they confessed is “Jesus, Son of the Most High God”.
          • This legion knew that one wrong move and Jesus would put them under and cease their miserable existence.
          • Matthew 26:53 Jesus says, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?”
              • I did the math, that is like 60,000 angels.
              • These demons didn’t stand a change against the army of Jesus, which by the way, Jesus didn’t even need!
              • Jesus is God and is able merely by His Word speak creation to His Will!!!!
              • This is why the demons are requesting permission of Jesus.


10 And he begged him earnestly not to send them out of the country. 11 Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, 12 and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” 13 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 demons didn’t want to be sent out of the country because they were surrounded by unbelievers.
      • HELLO! The United States of America! Spencer County!
  • Remember I said we’d get back to who the demon possessed man was.
      • He was a gentile, not a Jew.
      • We know this because they were raising pigs, something the jews didn’t do. Pigs were an unclean animal.
      • Why would Jesus help this gentile? Simple, Love.
      • Jesus, who is God, was sent to save the world, not just the Jews, from sin and death.
          • 1 John 2:2 “He is the propitiation (atonement) for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.”
          • 1 Peter 3:18 “18 For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit,”
          • Romans 6:10 “10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all”
  • The demons asked Jesus to send them to the pigs that were on the hillside.
      • Demons are a part of Satan’s crew, their mission is the same as the mission of Satan.
          • John 10:10 “10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”
      • The demons just wanted to wreak havoc on something.
      • Jesus allowed them to enter into what was already ceremoniously unclean.
      • About 2,000 pigs were possessed, that tells you how many demons at a minimum were there.


14 The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. 15 And they came to Jesus and saw the demon-possessed man, the one who had had the legion, sitting there, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid. 16 And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. 17 And they began to beg Jesus to depart from their region. 

  • Jesus restored this man, this Gentile, this unbeliever and through experiencing Jesus it changed the course of this mans life forever.
  • All those who knew this man, who had tried to restrain this man, who tried to keep this man as far away as possible now seen him clothed and in his right mind.
      • Clothed and in his right mind.
          • Jesus can do the impossible and Jesus can make us better and transform our lives.
  • Imagine you are the inhabitants of this town and you don’t know Jesus or who He is.
      • You’d probably be terrified by what you’ve just witnessed and ask Him to leave also.


18 As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possessed with demons begged him that he might be with him. 19 And he did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.” 

  • The now healed man begged to go with Jesus.
      • His life will never be the same. He was personally healed by Jesus, the Son of the Most High God!
  • Jesus stops him and doesn’t allow him to come.
      • Instead Jesus tells the man to “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you.”
      • This man is now a witness of Jesus Christ, and has a task that should be familiar to all of us.
          • Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”


20 And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

      • The man goes and proclaims Jesus.
          • Jesus said, ““Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you” and the man proclaimed the name of Jesus.
          • Jesus and God are One in the Same.
  • At the end of the day, what this shows is exactly what we are told.
      • James 2:19 “19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!”
  • And just like this legion of demons:
      • Philippians 2:10-11 “so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”