From deep within a dark cave on the opposite side of Galilee in the country of the Gadarenes the most hideous cry emanated. The cry was an audible sign for all travelers to keep clear of the haunted tombs. Those who knew better feared the shadowy figure that lurked there hidden within the rocks. There were stories being circulated that told the tale of an unconstrained madman who could not be held captive. With herculean strength he had repeatedly broken every restraint that his captors had executed. He not only easily freed himself from their tightly held bounds of shackles and chains, but had become an unpredictable lunatic on the loose.
It was demons that had driven him into the barren wilderness. He had been a long time possessed by evil spirits. He had often made the most blood curdling sounds from deep within his assigned abyss. His cries reverberate across the land. The unclean spirits frequently seized hold of him with maddening force tortured him. He was like a puppet on their strings, being constantly preyed upon by unseen entities. They took great pleasure in making him to cut deep wounds within his flesh with jagged rocks and sharp edged stones.
One day something unusual happened to the possessed man of Gardara. He left his dark tombs and entered the sunlight. He had the most dreadful visage. In a bizarre way he had decided to run nakedly towards the boat that had just landed upon the shore. What did he hope to accomplish by his naked appearance? A closer look revealed a twisted and contorted face with a body that contained many bloody contusions and deep embedded scars. He not only looked hideous, but he even also had a foul smell. He reeked with the stench of death.
The demoniac was on a run, singling out a man who had just stepped out of small ship onto the shore of Gardara. In a weird gesture of greetings, the naked being flung himself downwards, beneath the visitor’s feet. It soon became clear that the demonized man had no malice intended for the visitor. The man only wanted to worship Jesus, “But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him” (Mark 5:6).
It did not take long before the demons within the man stirred themselves up with unholy passion to speak these words, “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” (Mark 5:7).
The visitor named Jesus had no intention of harming or tormenting the enslaved possessed man. His mission, the Bible declares, was that of preaching freedom and hope, not in tormenting the oppressed, “Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people” (Matthew 4:23).
Nevertheless, Jesus had previously said something that tormented the demons within the possessed man. Jesus had said, “Come out of the man, thou unclean spirit.”
The legion of demons unable to...