I WAS A TEMPLE FOR DEMONS (Mark 5:1-20; Matthew 8:28-34; Luke 8:26-39).
You may ask, “How can a human body house a legion of evil spirits?” How much space does a demon require? Demons are spirits and require no space. They inhabit the human mind and cause extreme confusion, depression and devastation. The demons, within me, were hostile and violent little devils. I did not control them. They controlled me and did as they pleased. The first thing they did was to rob me of my mental faculties so that I could not control my physical needs. They endowed me with enormous physical strength. No man could bind me and no chains could hold me. I over powered several men who tried to restrain me. My own family lived in fear of me and had me driven from my home. I ended up living in a cemetery and among graves and tombs. People were afraid to bury their dead with me around. I roamed the hillside scaring people with loud screams. Only strangers would pass that way and then run when they heard me make threatening sounds. These demons had infested me with such guilt that I would seek to atone for it by cutting and bruising myself with stones and then cry out in despair. I was a very sick man and no one would come near me to help me.
One day, the demons became very restless and fearful. Someone, by the name of Jesus, had entered my territory. He and a group of people had crossed the lake by boat and began to disembark on my shore. He obviously did not know that I had rendered the region unsafe. He was definitely not afraid of my threats or my demons. He kept on coming in my direction. The head demon became uneasy and decided to confront Jesus and demanded to be left alone. To communicate his message he used me. He made me run to Jesus, kneel before Him, and shout as loud as I could, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? Swear to God that you will not torment me,” the demon made me demand! But Jesus had already decided to exorcise the demon and ordered him, “Come out of this man you evil spirit!” It was then that I began to feel in my body and mind a tremendous struggle. I became a battlefield between Jesus and many evil spirits. Jesus was instantly aware of the struggle and asked the chief spirit, “What is you name?” His horrifying answer was, “My name is legion, for we are many. We like this area. We beg of you, over and over, do not drive us away from here. See those pigs on the hillside. Let us enter them, we beg you.” Jesus gave the demons permission and they entered the herd of pigs, one for each demon two thousand in all. The herd was spooked and preferred to drown than have demons torture them. It was a great tragedy for my people. Raising hogs was part of our livelihood and our religion. The pig was sacred in our Greek culture; however, to the Jews the pigs were an abomination.
Concerning myself, it was a day of deliverance and freedom. I was normal again. All the madness and violence had left me. I sat at Jesus’ feet as if nothing had ever happened. I do not remember how long I sat there enjoying my new life. It was long enough for the herdsmen to run to town and bring out the owners of the pigs to meet Jesus. They already had been informed that their pigs went mad and drowned in the lake. It was beyond their grasp that so much madness resided in me. They could not get over the enormous power that Jesus must have to transfer two thousand demons into their pigs and kill them all. That was not good economics for my people and they became very much afraid of Jesus. They began to plead with Him to leave their country. To me, this was a blow to my ego. My own people preferred their pigs to me. They rather saw me being tormented by two thousand evil spirits than loose their pigs. It was also beyond me why Jesus allowed the demons to mess with innocent animals that meant everything to these peaceful Greeks in the Decapolis. I was never able to figure out why Jesus did that day what He did. What ever He had done was for me and I intended to reward Him for it.
Jesus did not hang around where He was not wanted. He decided to board the same boat and go back where He came from. I followed Him and begged Him to let me go with Him. I, too, felt that I was no longer welcome by my people. They will forever blame me for loosing their pigs. I also felt drawn to Jesus, not just out of gratitude for delivering me from the evil spirits, but also for the peaceful fortitude He maintained among angry people that had lost their pigs. I wanted to be near Him and learn more about His tranquility. Jesus, however, did not want me to be with Him. He had a specific reason for wanting me to stay behind. Since He was not allowed to serve my people, He wanted me to do it for Him. His specific instructions were, “Go home to your family, tell them what the Lord had done for you and how merciful He has been.” I obeyed. I went home and began to tell everyone that was willing to listen what the Lord Jesus had done for me. I traveled all over the ten Greek cities and shared my experience I had with the demons and how Jesus drove them out of the country. These demons could no longer bother my people because they were at the bottom of the lake in dead pigs. To my delight, people listened and marveled at my story. I was not quite sure whether they believed me. But that did not seem to matter much to me. I was grateful what Jesus had done for me and I was anxious to have others know what He could do for them. I became an example how evil a person can become.