Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?”
And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.
Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these.
So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.
When the herdsmen saw what had happened, they fled and told it in the city and in the country.
Then people went out to see what had happened, and they came to Jesus and found the man from whom the demons had gone, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind, and they were afraid.
And those who had seen it told them how the demon-possessed man had been healed.
It’s funny how we seem to think that Jesus cast these demons into the pigs, but that’s not how Luke tells it.
They begged Him, and they gave Him permission.
For a lot of people in this time, the deep deep lake that Jesus and the disciples had just crossed was an abyss. It was deep and there were superstitions about what lie beneath it. For the demons to go down into it was not too far off of what people expected.
Instead of their final abyss, they went into a temporary one. C.S. Lewis talks about people that grumble. In spending their lives grumbling, God eventually gives them the fulfillment of their desires, and they simple turn into the personification of a grumble in hell. That sounds awful.
The thing is, Jesus didn’t have to destroy those demons. They were set on destroying themselves. They worked to destroy the man they were in, and when given the chance, they destroyed those pigs in a matter of seconds.
There are so many questions here! Did they not have the power to destroy a man made in God’s image? Other demons cast out would make people fall into the fire or quit talking. Something about this man was enough for him to stay alive.
And as long as he was alive, he was ready for Jesus to save him.
Once saved, they gave him some clothes and immediately he became a disciple. Jesus and the other disciples didn’t hold any of his past, his naked in chains busting out of a guarded area past, against him.
When the people came to see what happened, the evidence of his life spoke so loudly, all he had to do was be normal. Just seeing him sitting there clothed was such an incredible display power, that the whole city nearby was shaken.
So beyond what we can’t know — why did Jesus send the demons into pigs, what did that guy experience at that moment, what happened to the price of bacon — look at what we can know. All it took for a man to become a disciple was for Jesus to free him. That was all the qualifications and training he needed. God used him just the way he was to bring glory to His name.
From there others told others and others told others. Look what God has done! Look at the power in this man Jesus! Look at the mighty God of Israel, who has power over demons!