Jesus and Legion Demon Bible Verses:
When the possessed man saw Jesus from afar, he ran and bowed down to him. Crying out with a loud voice, he said, "What have I to do with you, Jesus, you Son of the Most High God? I beg you by God, do not torment me." For Jesus said to him, "Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!" Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many." Mark 5:6-9 NHEB.
Previous Bible study lesson: Jesus Healing The Blind #6.12.
Preliminary Bible Study Questions:
1) Who was Legion Demon?
2) What is demon possession?
3) Why did Jesus cast demons into a herd of pigs?
The miracles of Jesus definitely include his powerful work of rebuking and casting out demons. The reason is that demons are stronger than man, but weaker than God.
The demons in the Bible are the same demons we have in the world today. They haven't multiplied and none have been destroyed. The same demons Jesus dealt with are the same demons we deal with today (Ephesians 6:12).
The biblical account of Jesus casting out demons from the madman is the BEST account of demon exorcism from which to learn, and there is MUCH to learn from this accurate, historical account.
This Mark 5 Bible study will enlighten us to many things concerning powerful demons, possessed people, and even possessed pigs! Don't you love learning from God's word?! There is never a dull moment.
Mostly though, as always at GraspingGod.com, we'll glorify God by learning about him and his Son, Jesus Christ. We desire to admire him with our whole heart and our open mind. Let's get started by first reading Mark 5:1-20 and/or Luke 8:26-39. Be sure to watch the animated video at the end of the lesson.
Jesus and his disciples left Galilee in a boat on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus was performing miracles and healing many people from sicknesses and demon possession. The demons screamed as they were cast out, "You are the Son of God!" But Jesus rebuked the demons so they wouldn't reveal his true identity - it was too early in his ministry (Mark 3:9-12).
After leaving Galilee in their boat, a tumultuous storm erupted, causing great havoc at sea. Jesus calmed the storm to everyone's utter amazement. The disciples, jaws gaped open, were in shock, "Who is this man? Even the wind and waves obey him!" (Mark 4:41).
Finally, the group sailed across the sea, landing in the Gerasenes area, very possibly near the town of Khersa, aka Kursi. Khersa's shoreline is 6 miles across the sea from Capernaum, having hills and ample areas for burial caves described in the account (Mark 5:1-3).
Who is Legion Demon?
Strangely, upon Jesus and the disciples' docking, a demon-possessed man ran up to greet them. This man was well-known in the Decapolis area as a raging lunatic - a madman. He lived alone in a cemetery, wore no clothing, howled at the moon, and cut himself with sharp stones. People attempted to chain him down over the years, but his supernatural powers would break the chains and set him free. He was a dangerous menace to the people who dared pass by the burial caves (Mark 5:4-5).
There were many witnesses watching Jesus and Legion Demon, who we'll also call the demon-possessed man. First of all, several boats had departed Galilee (Mark 4:36) undoubtedly including both the inner and wider circles of Jesus' disciples, even Mary Magdalene (Luke 8:2-3).
There were also some herdsmen tending a great many pigs nearby (Mark 5:14), who would later run into the city, bringing back more witnesses to observe Jesus and Legion Demon.
The reason the possessed madman, to this point, is referred to as Legion Demon is because he was under total control of the possessing demon(s).
You can consider Legion Demon, and its possessed man, half-demon and half-human, because the evil spirit controlled the man's faculties and body. This was a fusion of horror made in hell.
Legion Demon ran up to Jesus, bowing low at his feet. You can say he "bowed to the King."
Jesus recognized an evil presence and commanded the prostrate Legion Demon, "Come out of the man, you evil spirit!" (Mark 5:8).
Legion Demon rose up, looked intently at Jesus, then shrieked in the most shrilling voice, "Why are you interfering with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In the name of God, I beg you, don't torture me!"
Jesus then ordered the demon to answer this question, "What is your name?" This activity was obviously for the witnesses' benefit, and for our benefit, so that we know demons are real, they are many, and that they actually have names (Mark 5:9). Biblical demon names will be listed later in this lesson.
The possessed madman screeched, "My name is Legion, because there are many of us inside this man."
Suddenly, all of the demons inside this man's body started shrieking, "Don't send us into the Abyss!" The demons saw the heard of pigs nearby and pleaded, "Send us into those pigs!" They shamelessly groveled at Jesus' feet, "Let us enter the pigs!" (Mark 5:10-12).
As you all know, pigs were an unclean animal to the Hebrews (Leviticus 11:7-8). God disallowed the Hebrews to eat certain animals, fish, and birds. Most of the forbidden animals were scavengers and predators. No one is exactly sure why God forbade the animals, but a good guess would be to limit the acquired diseases for which these types of animals, fish, and birds are responsible (i.e. trichinosis or shellfish poisoning). Another theory is that these predator animals possess a cruel nature. They would therefore be unsuitable for consumption by God's people, because God didn't want his chosen nation associating with such a fallen, worldly condition. Now, back to the story.
Jesus, showing his humorous side, gave the legion of demons their desire. He cast them out of the man and into the pigs!
Oh, but the pigs didn't think much of their new tenants! The demons possessed the pigs, but before settling into their new home, the entire herd of pigs charged down the steep hillside, plunging headlong into the Sea of Galilee! All 2,000 pigs drowned in the sea (Mark 5:13).
This was an
incredible display of God's power!
Legion Demon, and his gang of filthy spirits, took a bath in the Sea of Galilee, courtesy of Jesus Christ and a herd of unclean swine!
You know, pigs can swim, so why did all 2000 pigs drown immediately? Why did the pigs charge into the Sea of Galilee and perish? It's this simple: God drove this huge herd of pigs into the sea just like he drove two animals of every kind into Noah's ark. Animals obey God's commands. God was in charge of this situation for a very important reason.
God tossed the unclean spirits and the unclean animals they possessed into the Sea, so that we could "see" the future.
This is an illustration of the future judgment! Jesus will humiliate all sin and all sinners on judgment day.
Revelation 20:13-15 NHEB says, "They were judged, each one according to
his works. Death and hell were thrown into the lake of fire. This is
the second death, the lake of fire. If anyone was not found written in
the book of life, he was cast into the lake of fire."
All unclean people, all unclean spirits, and all of their unclean deeds, words, and thoughts will be tossed into the burning sea of fire. This living parable illustrates eternal judgment and punishment by the following representations: Pigs are the non-Christians; spirits portray evil; and, the Sea of Galilee is the lake of fire.
Let's interrupt this lesson with a quick prayer: Lord Jesus, you are truly amazing. Thank you for this vivid picture of a dreadful future for those who don't love you. You gave this to us so that we'll awake to reality. Give us enlightenment, Lord, show us our sin. Turn us and deliver us from evil, and keep us safe from temptation. Lord, let us not become as these filthy pigs and unclean spirits. Teach us how to repent and believe in you. Save us from the lake of fire. In Christ's name, Amen.
We're going to devote this section to a more focused study of demons. There is much to learn about the spiritual world before returning to the incredible knowledge gathered from the Legion Demon story. Consider this section a compact theological study on demons.
So, what is a demon? Demons are fallen angels who inhabit the realm of earth. They were swept out of heaven after their rebellion was defeated by Jesus and his angels (Revelation 12:4; Isaiah 14:12–15). Their original home was heaven, their current home is the earth, and their future home is the hellish lake of fire (Matthew 25:41).
All demons were once beautiful angels of God, serving him in heaven before they were cast out with Lucifer. They are now hideous, beastly creatures with incredible powers - much stronger than any man. They've observed humanity since the Garden of Eden; therefore, they are much more intelligent than us.
People never outsmart demons; but, demons are NOT omniscient like their Creator God. Demons always recognize Jesus as the Son of God, which is opposed to people generally failing to know Christ is God's Son (John 5:36-37). This is a strong indictment against humanity (John 5:38-40).
The revelation of demons is limited in the Old Testament, but here is a list of some O.T. passages that reveal evil spirits:
This list doesn't include Satan as a demon, because he is considered the devil (John 8:44), the red dragon leader of all demons (Revelation 12:3). The current earth is the kingdom of Satan (Matthew 4:8-9; 2 Corinthians 4:4), and his demons listen to his commands. Satan is the god of this earth and his demons are his subservient fallen angels (Ephesians 2:2).
Here are some New Testament references to demons, including a list of theological demons.
Bible List of Demons and Demon Names:
Many people add the biblical names of pagan gods, e.g. baal, asherah, astarte, etc., to their list of demons; however, that isn't technically appropriate here. True, idols do have demons behind them (1 Corinthians 10:19-20); but, idols have their own names and demons have their own names.
Surprisingly, there aren't many demons named in the Scriptures, giving serious Christians a hint. We should refrain from thinking about demons, even their names. It wouldn't be edifying in any way, and in fact, if a person begins summoning a demon by name the demon may possibly accept the reference as an invitation.
Demons In Hell
There is a group of demons chained in hell since their ancient, great sin (Genesis 6:4-5; 1 Peter 3:19-20; 2 Peter 2:4; Jude 6). GraspingGod.com covered this topic here: Demons In Hell.
What Is Demon Possession?
Legion Demon knew Jesus as the Son of God without being introduced to him. He ran up to Jesus and bowed to him, thereby recognizing his supreme authority (Hebrews 1:4). Like all demons, Legion Demon knew exactly who Jesus was, but more importantly, he cognitively believed him to be the Son of God (James 2:19). All these demons knew Jesus well because of their prior experience in heaven.
Legion Demon knelt before Jesus, because all condemned creatures must bow before him (Philippians 2:10-11). All condemned humans will do likewise on judgment day (Revelation 20:11-12). Those who aren't saved by Jesus' blood will be thrown into the lake of fire with the Devil and Legion Demon. Again, this story gives us a vivid preview of the coming Judgment Day.
Demon possession means that an evil spirit enters a body of man or beast. A demon is a spirit, meaning that it is invisible to humans; but, much more physically, mentally, and spiritually powerful than humans.
A human body can become a "tent" or "house" for one or more demons. The evil spirit is much more powerful than the human spirit, so after entering the person it's able to control the mind, nervous system, and actions of the possessed body - if they so desire.
Demons seek to kill, steal, and destroy, so there are no guiding ethics or morals for them, except for what God disallows.
A person's heart is naturally full of evil intentions (Mark 7:20-23); therefore, opening the doors to a demon multiplies the inherent evil already existing within a person. Summoning demons is a strict no-no, because they'll answer the call of the curious soul. Beware.
In short, Satan and his demons, and their corrupt world of evil, want humans opposing God at every opportunity. These evil creatures encourage us to remain selfish, like our naturally sinful heart's desire. They want us rich and proud, relying on them and their world system for power and wealth. Their system is the mammon of which Jesus warns you (Matthew 6:24).
Turn your eyes outward and upward, my friend. Turn your eyes upon Jesus, the One who satisfies the dry and thirsty soul.
Why would Jesus be concerned with demons? Don't they just fulfill the wishes of wicked people? Why did Jesus cast out demons?
Jesus and his disciples demonstrated the authority to rebuke and cast out demons (Mark 3:22-27; 6:7). This demon-rebuking activity, including casting out demons, revealed the present reality of God's Kingdom. Exorcism was a statement. The Creator and Savior had arrived in full power and glory! Demons heeded his commands and fled from his presence!
It also became possible for mere humans to cast out demons, but only in Jesus' name (Acts 4:9-10). The power behind his name actually drove out the demons (Mark 9:38-40).
Jesus addressed his large circle of disciples who were amazed that the demons obeyed their commands. Of course, they only had authority over the demons when using Jesus' name. Jesus calmed their enthusiasm about their authority by reminding them to rejoice only because their names were written in heaven (Luke 10:17-20). Jesus always counteracts one's tendencies towards pride and corruption.
Jesus didn't accept the glory for casting out demons, even though it could only be done in his name. The Pharisees and Sadducees were accusing him of casting out demons by Satan's power. Jesus admonished the religious leaders by informing them that he only cast out demons by God's power. Jesus added that because he cast out demons in God's power they should realize that the Kingdom of God had arrived in human form (Luke 11:16-22).
Jesus made sure everyone was aware of the fact that he was MUCH stronger than Satan and his minions. The Son of God arrived with great power and authority!
Here are some biblical examples of exorcism.
List of Demons Cast Out in the Bible:
There are different types of demons, just as there are different types of people. Demons have their various evil tendencies, but all demons are immoral and wicked to the core.
Some demons have a propensity towards hedonism and prostitution (Luke 8:1-3); some towards idolatry and false belief (1 Corinthians 10:19-20; 1 Timothy 4:1); some physically maim and disfigure the bodies they possess (Luke 13:10-13), while others influence people towards violence and murder (Luke 9:37-43).
Jesus and the disciples only performed exorcisms on people who would believe in Jesus Christ as the Messiah. Attempting to cast out demons from a lost person would be unbiblical and quite possibly dangerous (Mark 6:5). That fact is proven here by the demoniac who turned on some Jews who were attempting to cast out a demon in Jesus' name: (Acts 19:13-16).
Casting Out Demons
Should we desire to cast out demons? Should we desire to perform these great miracles of demon exorcism? It depends on your answers to these questions: What is your motive? Is it God's will?
We don't see exorcism mentioned as a spiritual gift in the Bible. The epistles and later books of the Scriptures have few instances of Christians casting out demons. Many theologians say demon possession is rare in today's civilized world. Christ seems to have limited the practice of casting out demons to institute his arrival, and to help create his new Church.
But, for a moment, let's say you ran into a demon-possessed man and his father begged you to cast out his son's demon. Would you attempt to exorcise the demon? Let's say God allowed you to cast out the evil spirit. Would you give God ALL the glory if in fact he used you to cast out the demon? Think about it after reading the story of Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:18-24.
Demon-possession does seem to occur today, but maybe more so in countries that practice divination, witchcraft, and voo-doo. False religions around the globe are known to foster such activity, as well. It would be wise to believe that Satan and his demons are very active in the lives of humans everywhere. Live holy, and be ready to minister in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
Legion Demon fled the possessed man as Jesus commanded, leaving the man to his own faculties. He could once again think clearly. Feelings and real emotions returned to him. He regained control of his speech. Legion Demon had stolen away many of the critical elements of humanity from the man.
Satan and his demons love stealing God-given human rights from the unsuspecting soul.
The man's heart was filled with gratitude towards Jesus! He rejoiced at his deliverance from Legion Demon. His soul, spirit, and body were all freed from the claws of evil. Praise the Lord! The man was joyful once again. Legion Demon was replaced with the Spirit of God. Evil was replaced with goodness. Sin was replaced with righteousness. This man became a new creation in Christ! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
A large crowd had gathered around, because the herdsmen had called the townspeople to witness the event. The herdsmen were scared, they were angry, they were in disbelief. They wanted witnesses to see the travesty wrought by Jesus. They lost their herd of swine with no hope of retribution. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away!
The crowd, including Jesus' disciples, watched as the man arose from thanking Jesus. Jesus was departing in the boat when the man begged him, "Jesus, let me go with you and follow you." Jesus said, "No, go home to your family, and tell them everything the Lord has done for you and how merciful he has been."
The man listened to Jesus' command and departed the shore. The written account tells us the man walked throughout the Decapolis region telling everyone the great things Jesus did for him (Mark 5:20). This one man brought much glory to Jesus, who in turn, gave all the glory to God (Mark 5:18-19).
You may wonder why Jesus wouldn't let the man follow him like his other disciples. That may seem odd to you. Wouldn't it seem right that Jesus desired all people to "follow him?" Isn't that what he calls all new disciples to do, i.e. follow him?
Didn't nearly the same thing happen to Mary Magdalene? She had seven demons exorcised by Jesus. So, why was Mary Magdalene allowed to follow Jesus?
How could this man grow in Christ without the Scriptures? How
could he be supported by other Christian brothers and sisters? Was he a
real disciple of Christ?
The Lord has reasons for everything, so we can speculate for a moment. First of all, we need to trust in God for everything; and in this case, we need to trust the plan of growth that God had in mind for this man. God takes care of all his children, including this formerly demon-possessed man. God is always in sovereign control - don't worry.
Jesus definitely wanted the bold witness in the Decapolis area proclaiming his gospel - that is easily understood. Jesus didn't want to perform this miracle near the Gerasenes and then remove the one who benefited most from it. All Decapolis residents knew about this raging demoniac who terrorized the passers-by. All heard about his utter insanity. But now, NOW, they get to meet him, the one who was once a dangerous animal, howling at the moon.
The man became a gentle lamb, saved by the grace of God, his Creator. He was a tremendous witness for the Lord, because his life brought amazement, wonder, and belief in the One who saved him (Mark 5:20). There's no harm in wondering if this man continued his great evangelism long after Jesus' resurrection and ascension. I have a strong hunch he did.
Is it easier to cast out a demon from a man, or to forgive the sin in a person's heart? Of course, it's easier to claim to forgive the sin in a person's heart than to exorcise a powerful demon from his human home.
Jesus, the Son of God, came with authority from heaven. He came to introduce the Kingdom of God to a lost world. He came to forgive sins, and he proved his authority by doing something much harder than forgiving sins - Jesus cast out demons.
Jesus can heal your heart. He can chase out those sins that aren't nearly as powerful as Legion Demon. There were many demons, and granted, your sins are many, but Jesus is far greater than all demons put together, and he is greater than all of your sins. In fact, Jesus is greater than all of the sins of all mankind, for all time. Jesus is truly that great.
No matter the sin, or sins; no matter the sinner, or sinners; Jesus can cast out all of the evil. In fact, he will someday soon cast all of our sins into the deep, deep sea of forgetfulness (Micah 7:19).
Jesus does have one God-imposed limitation, though; he cannot forgive the sins of a sinner who refuses to repent, believe, and follow him. If you haven't yet done this, it's now time to get right with God. Jesus doesn't desire to treat you like a possessed pig on your personal judgment day.
Fruit of the Spirit Response to Jesus and Legion Demon:
Do you believe that God can cleanse a man like what we learned today? Many Christians probably wouldn't trust this man after Jesus saved him. Would you trust him as a new neighbor? Would you trust him as a member of your church? Would you trust him as a friend? What if your daughter brought him home as her boyfriend?
After all, Jesus instructed the man to return to his family, which implied returning to his neighborhood and friends.
Would you REALLY and FULLY trust in the work that God did in this man's life (Philippians 1:6)? I don't think many Christians would believe that God would change a person like this man. Go to God and make sure you can believe in his life-changing miracles. Remember, ALL things are possible with God (Mark 10:27).
Tell the Lord you want to believe in his great power to change the worst sinners, even murderers and madmen.
Do you have a fear of demons? In one sense you should fear the effects their powerful temptations can have upon you. Respect their power by running from their influence and temptations if they become too enticing to you (1 Corinthians 6:18; 10:14; 1 Timothy 6:11; 2 Timothy 2:22).
Do NOT fall into their demonic trap - you'll end up living a pathetic, non-spiritual life.
In another sense, you should not have a fear of demons, because they can only kill your body. They'll frighten you, lie to you, and influence you to sin; but, they cannot throw you into hell. But, God can. And, God will.
Concerning his Father, Jesus warns you, "Fear Him!" You must create a healthy, respectful, real fear of God in your life, for this reason... God can destroy both your body and your soul. Jesus said so (Luke 12:4-5). Heed his warning.
Do NOT be afraid of demons, because Christians have the power and authority to make them stand down. Put on your demon armor, i.e. the whole armor of God, so you can fight against these demons (James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-18).
Live a holy and spiritually powerful life - the two go hand-in-hand, and you'll defeat evil of every sort.
Living in sin removes your spiritual power and authority, so a weak or fake Christian has no hope for winning these battles against evil. Be strong, wear God's spiritual armor and defeat your attacking demons.
Also, consider this: If you're scared of demons, if the thought of them freaks you out, won't you also freak out from the awesome presence of the glorified Jesus Christ? Don't fear the spiritual realm; but, make Jesus your trusted Savior. Jesus takes timid souls and makes them bold soldiers. Embrace the spiritual realm with the power of God.
Demons bring us all sorts of temptations, testing our very faith. They LOVE watching you fail and bring disgrace to God's Kingdom. They love deceiving you, tempting you, and casting you into the lot of those who grieve the indwelling Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19). Don't become their sullied victim.
Falling into a demon's trap leaves you dazed and confused, separated from God's good graces. If you chose failure, you must come to your senses, repent of your deeds, and re-approach Jesus with a humble, mercy-seeking heart. Return to him, begging him to forgive you and allow you to return to a powerful, Spirit-filled life.
This is a very difficult, frustratingly
slow recovery process, if allowed by God at all. He alone grants
repentance to whom he wills.
The Final Warning:
Make sure demons do not repossess a soul (Matthew 12:43-45), because the person's condition will be worse than before. If you or someone you love had a demon cast out, or a major sin forgiven, do NOT fall away from Jesus. Do NOT backslide and sink into despair - your demons and sin will return with more of their kind to torment you (John 5:14).
The evil returns with a vengeance, chewing you
up and spitting you out, wrecking the spiritual life you and the Lord co-labored
so long and hard to build (Hebrews 6:4-6).
Always rely upon God's power and strength through these difficult situations. Turn completely away from the world, and turn to God.
Last of all, don't ever think you're too evil for God, who LOVES saving sinners and backsliders from the lost world of darkness. There aren't many things that bring God more glory than rescuing a soul tormented by demons and sin.
Bible Study Questions for Discussion:
1) Contrast this demon-possessed man with Judas' devil possession. Know that after the devil departed Judas, he hung himself. Why such a different response from Judas than that of this man? Discuss.
2) Discuss the possible reasons why Jesus has Christians judging the world, including the demons and angels, on judgment day (1 Corinthians 6:2-3).
3) Why do certain people, such as Mary Magdalene and the Legion Demon madman, become so excited and evangelistic after being freed from evil's grip? (see Luke 7:36-50).
Jesus vs Demons Bible Verses:
Woe unto them that call good evil, and evil good. Isaiah 5:20 NHEB.
You were dead through your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh. He made you alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, wiping out the handwriting in ordinances which was against us; and he has taken it out of the way, nailing it to the cross; having stripped the principalities and the powers, aka demons, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it. Colossians 2:13-15 NHEB.
Since then the children have shared in flesh and blood, Jesus also himself in like manner partook of the same, that through death he might bring to nothing him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might deliver all of them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage. For, truly, he did not come to help the angels, but to help the seed of Abraham. Hebrews 2:14-16 NHEB.
And the Lord will deliver me from every evil work, and will preserve me for his heavenly Kingdom; to whom be the glory forever and ever. 2 Timothy 4:18 NHEB.
Quotes about Evil:
Every renewed heart is anxious to be free from even a speck of evil. - Charles H Spurgeon.
All the miseries and evils which men suffer from - vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible. - Noah Webster.
Dear Lord, Thank you for defeating Satan, the demons, and all wickedness. Thank you for building us a forthcoming heaven that will be devoid of all evil and all threats of evil forever and ever. Oh Lord, come quickly, and save us from the sin and corruption that exists on this earth. Prepare our hearts for your arrival. In the meantime, Lord, while we tarry and look to the heavens, please use us to further your magnificent Kingdom. Help us to glorify your Father in heaven, as you do so perfectly. In Christ's name. Amen.
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