Jesus is outside of Jewish Galilee, on the eastern side of the lake in a region called the Decapolis (ten cities). It is primarily Roman, which explains why Jesus was willing to allow the man to go and testify to what Jesus had done for him. People there weren’t looking for a Messiah, and the religious leadership wasn’t looking to kill Him!
In fact, Jesus scared them senseless. Here was a disturbed, crazy man, possessed by multiple demons, and here comes Jesus. He casts them out of the man, but the demons, recognizing Him, plea for mercy. Apparently, if Jesus casts them out, they end up somewhere they don’t want to go (Luke 8:31). He allows them to go into the pigs, which seems to drive the pigs mad, and they drown themselves. The residents can’t handle it and ask Him to leave!
Some points to ponder:
- Many Jews wouldn’t have wanted to be in the region of pig farmers, since pigs were unclean animals. Jesus went anyway.
- Some people wonder how Jesus could allow such a loss of livestock and money. One point being driven home is that the man is more valuable than any animals.
- Jesus is also giving us a picture of the end. The demons are so concerned about going to the abyss, but we get a picture of what will ultimately happen to them. The event foreshadows when Satan and his demons are cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:10).
- When people catch a glimpse of the power and majesty of God it can be scary. If the Holy Spirit isn’t working on them the kind of awe that falls is one that can make them afraid.
- Isn’t it wonderful the kind of work that God can do in a life? Isn’t it wonderful what He has done in yours? Are you willing to tell others?