When Jesus came to the region of the Gerasenes he encountered a man possessed by demons. The man was what we would consider today to be mentally ill and was violently psychotic. But the demons recognised Jesus and said to him, What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” (Verse 7) Jesus said to the demon, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion; for we are many.” (Verse 9) They sought to be cast into a nearby herd of swine, but when they went the swine fled and drowned themselves in the sea.
What we see here in the name the demon gave was not just a name, but a description. He called himself “Legion” and then said that there were many demons in this man. A legion in the time of Jesus was a military term and it represented a great number of soldiers. A Legion was essentially a complete army in the Roman times and comprised anywhere up to about six thousand men. It included troops, cooks, medical staff, armourers, and so on. Basically everything that was necessary to enable an army to function and go to war.
Now here we see this demon call itself “Legion, for we are many.” So we can presume that there were so many demons in this man that they were equivalent to a legion of an army, that is, up to six thousand demons. These demons had taken complete control of the man and tormented him day and night. He was a prisoner of this legion and they tossed him to and fro causing all kinds of injuries to him. Jesus came to this man to release him from this bondage and to set him free.
Demon possession is a terrible thing. Demons can also oppress without possessing a man too. We see that the Apostle Paul was occasionally oppressed by a demon as he wrote, “And to keep me from being too elated by the abundance of revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan, to harass me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I besought the Lord about this, that it should leave me; but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9) The word “messenger” used in this translation comes from the Greek word “agollos” which literally translates as “angel.” The demons were the angels of Satan cast down upon the earth with Satan when he rebelled against God.
So even Christians can be oppressed by the demons. To obtain release from this when or if it occurs, we must do as Paul did and beseech the Lord that the demon should be gone from our life. In Paul’s case the Lord left the demon so that Paul should not become proud. However we see numerous other instances of where the Lord sent the demons packing never to return. Such was the case when Jesus casts out the legion from this man in the country of the Gerasenes. Another who was released from demon possession in Jesus’ time was Mary Magdalene from whom he cast out seven demons. (Mark 16:9)
It is evident in all these things that Jesus had power over both the physical and the spiritual realms. He had power and authority to heal both the physically and spiritually sick people. His power is with us still today to heal those who are physically and spiritually sick. We need only to come to him and call on him to receive the blessings of his freedom and release from all forms of bondage.
(Clipart provided by oChristian.com http://clipart.ochristian.com/ )