Mathew records that Jesus arrived in an area called Gadarenes where he was met by two men who were possessed by demons. The men were so violent that nobody could pass that way for fear that these two men would hurt them. The voices of the demons inside the men called to Jesus, “What do you want with us Son of God, are you here to torture us before the right time?”
The spirits called Jesus “Son of God,” which shows they understood who he was, and they talked about “torture,” which means they realized that the result of evil will always be disaster and suffering.
A little distance away from where Jesus was standing stood a herd of pigs, so the demons asked Jesus if they could leave the bodies of the two men and go to the pigs. Jesus said: “Go!” The demons immediately left the men and entered the pigs, where the pigs then rushed into the water and drowned.
The people who saw this ran back to their town where they told everybody; immediately the people in the town became greatly afraid so they arrived and asked Jesus to leave their area.
Mark records the passage a little bit differently, but the essence of it is the same. In Mark’s record, Jesus stepped out of a boat and was immediately met by a man who was possessed by demons. The man lived outside of the city amongst the tombs and was tied hand and foot by chains because he was dangerous, but despite this, he always broke the chains. There was no one who had the strength to restrain him, and he cried all the time and cut himself with rocks.
When the man saw Jesus he ran up to Jesus and fell at Jesus’ feet and said,” What do you want with me Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name, don’t torture me!” (It was the voice of the demon inside him.) Jesus replied to the demon, “Leave this man you evil spirit!”
Jesus asked the demon what his name was, and the demon answered, “My name is legion, and there are many of us.” He then begged Jesus not to send himself and the other demons out of the area, so Jesus allowed the demons to go into a herd of nearby pigs, where the pigs then ran into the water and drowned themselves.
As Jesus was about to leave the region in a boat, the man who had been healed of the demons asked Jesus if he could join Jesus, but Jesus said to him, “Go back home and tell everyone how you have been healed and how God has had mercy on you.” The man did as he was told and everyone was amazed.
Luke records much of the same passage, but adds that the man didn’t wear any clothes, and like Mathew, states that the reason the people asked Jesus to leave their region was because they were afraid when they saw the man healed.
In this passage we see Jesus being approached by either one or two men, who have demons in them. The demons make the man (men) extremely violent and strong and as a result, he has been chained-up out of town; however, this doesn’t matter because the man continually breaks free from his chains. Nobody has any contact with the man whatsoever, until Jesus arrives; Jesus has great compassion and no fear of him, so He allows the man to approach Him. Once the evil demons inside the man ask to be allowed to leave, Jesus commands them with the word “Go,” said with an exclamation point (!) to show the authority in His voice.
The scene would have been highly dramatic: a man who has suffered for many years is suddenly free. Only Jesus could do this.
Rather than be happy for the man and thankful to Jesus, the people of the town ask Him to leave the area; this shows how amazing Jesus’ healing had been as it totally overloaded their senses. They had never seen or heard of anything like this before