Jesus and his disciples sailed across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes.

When they had disembarked, a man possessed by an evil spirit came out from the tombs and approached them. This man actually lived in the tombs and was completely out of control, even when put in chains. For whenever he was chained and shackled – which was quite often – he tore the chains apart and broke the shackles, and no one was strong enough to subdue him. Day and night he roamed the tombs and the hills, crying out and cutting himself with sharp stones.

While Jesus was still some distance away, the man ran towards him and fell at his feet.

“What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?” he cried. “In God’s name I beg you, don’t torment me!” For Jesus had said, “Come out of the man, you evil spirit.”

“What is your name?” asked Jesus.

“My name is Legion,” he said, “because there are many of us.” Then the evil spirits begged him again and again not to send them out of that region.

There was a large herd of pigs feeding on the hillside nearby and the demons begged Jesus, “Send us among those pigs. Let us enter them.” So Jesus gave them permission. Then the  evil spirits came out of the man and entered the pigs. The entire herd, about two thousand of them, rushed down the hillside bank into the lake and were drowned there.

The herdsmen, seeing this, ran to the nearby town and surrounding countryside to report what had happened. Then the people of the town came to see for themselves – and found the man who had been possessed by the legion of demons sitting there, fully clothed and perfectly sane, and they were very afraid. Those who had witnessed the recent events told the others what had happened to the demon-possessed man and the pigs, and that’s when the crowd began pleading with Jesus to go away.

As Jesus was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon possessed begged to be allowed to go with him, but Jesus said, “No, go home to your own people and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.”

So the man went away to the ten towns of the Decapolis and began to tell everyone how much Jesus had done for him, and they were all amazed.



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