Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss.
Jesus and his disciples had gone across the Lake into Geresene country, and the first person to greet them is asking Jesus to leave him alone and have nothing to do with him. That defiant spirit came from all of the evil spirits that lived in him. Because of those spirits he was unable to live with other people. And these evil spirits wanted nothing to do with Jesus, whom they recognized as the Son of God.
Jesus, a Jewish itinerant rabbi proclaiming the coming kingdom of God, went to an unclean land and met a man possessed by unclean spirits living in a cemetery, which was considered an unclean place. This is the very last place it seems that Jesus should be. Yet, isn’t that where God usually shows up, where you least expect God to be? God also comes to us in moments of profound grief, loss, and defeat, and later we marvel at the fact that God was with us all during that experience, we just did not know it at the time.
Jesus first response to this man filled with demons was to ask, “What is your name?”
And when the man responded with “Legions” he seemed to be saying, there are so many evil issues in my life, they control who I am. Even against the request of the evil spirits to leave them alone, Jesus casts them out of the man.
Now this man was given a new identity, one who is ‘cleansed by Jesus.’
This event of Jesus meeting and healing the demon possessed man speaks loudly to me that there is no place on earth that is God cannot or will not go.
More importantly, there is no person who is too unclean, outcast, abandoned, unpopular, incarcerated, or an unbeliever who God will not come to. God leaves out no one.
There are no conditions we have to meet to receive God’s love. You don’t have to be wealthy, or poor. You don’t have to be from one ethnic group, or another. You don’t have to have believed your whole life, or come to faith only recently, or have any faith at all. Jesus seeks out everyone, even this unclean man possessed by many evil spirits living in an unclean place because he was so controlled by those evil spirits.
After Jesus healed this man he immediately wanted to go with Jesus, but Jesus tells him to go back home and tell everyone what God had done for him. That is what God wants of you and me, to share with others what God has done for us. Our mission field always is right where we are, sharing the good news of God’s grace and mercy to us. You can do this because the Holy Spirit God has given you empowers you to share God’s love and forgiveness which brings healing.
- What is your name? Who are you? Do you think of your identity as a child of God? If so do you ever introduce yourself with that identity?
- When is the last time you told someone else what God has done for you?
- What is your story of your redemption? Have you ever sat down and put it into words so that you can share it with someone else?
- Will you pray to God asking God to prepare you to tell others what God has done for you and can and will do for them?
Eric is our current Webmaster and works on the NLS Communications Team. Raised in Judaism, he found Christ and the New Testament at age 16 in a Southern Baptist Church. He searched many denominations for the real church, only to find the Holy Spirit is present in all of them. He's worked for One for Israel, a group of native Israeli believers who are sharing the gospel in the holy land in Hebrew and is part of the only Hebrew speaking seminary in Israel.